Republican presidential nominee Donald J. Trump read aloud a note he said was from Patriots head coach Bill Belichick during a late night rally in New Hampshire on Monday -- the day before the 2016 Presidential Election.
"Congratulations on a tremendous campaign," the letter began, according to Trump. "You have dealt with an unbelievable slanted and negative media and have come out beautifully -- beautifully. You have proven to be the ultimate competitor and fighter. Your leadership is amazing. I have always had tremendous respect for you, but the toughness and perseverance you have displayed over the past year is remarkable. Hopefully tomorrow's election results will give the opportunity to make America great again.
"Best wishes for great results tomorrow,
The letter prompted disbelief from many who thought the language in the letter sounded like it was coming from the nominee himself, but according to Tom E. Curran from CSN New England, Belichick did indeed pen the letter to Trump. A second report from WBZ in Boston also said that those were Belichick's words. The Patriots did not immediately respond to a request for comment or clarity from NFL.com sent early Tuesday morning.
The development is the latest in a series of events that have connected Trump and the New England Patriots.
Quarterback Tom Brady had previously been seen with a Trump "Make America Great Again" hat in his locker in 2015. And last month, he walked off the podium late in a press conference after being asked about Trump's controversial statements regarding women caught on a hot microphone during a 2005 taping of Access Hollywood. Brady's wife, model Gisele Bündchen, seemed to infer in an Instagram comment that the couple was not supporting Trump.
Brady, shown here dropping off his absentee ballot on Monday, according to Fox25 Boston, told WEEI in Boston earlier Monday that he had not voted yet but would reveal his candidate of choice a week later.
Belichick was not the only Patriot referenced by Trump on Monday. Before he read the Belichick letter aloud, he said this of Brady:
"Great guy. Great friend of mine. Great, great champion. Unbelievable winner," Trump said. "He called today and he said, 'Donald, I support you. You're my friend and I voted for you.' I want to tell you this guy is a champ and he is a winner and he is a great person. So I said, 'Tom, you voted for me, you support me, am I allowed to say it tonight to this massive crowd in New Hampshire?' He said, 'If you want to say it, you can say it.'"