Tom Brady Says Relationship with Donald Trump Was 'Mischaracterized': 'Haven't Talked' in Years

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IWC brand ambassador and seven-time World Champion quarterback Tom Brady during The Big Pilot Challenge, an entertaining charity golf challenge organized by IWC Schaffhausen at the Miami Beach Golf Club on May 4, 2022 in Miami Beach, Florida
IWC brand ambassador and seven-time World Champion quarterback Tom Brady during The Big Pilot Challenge, an entertaining charity golf challenge organized by IWC Schaffhausen at the Miami Beach Golf Club on May 4, 2022 in Miami Beach, Florida

Alexander Tamargo/Getty Tom Brady

Tom Brady said he has not spoken to Donald Trump in "a lot of years."

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers superstar quarterback, 44, told Variety in an interview published Thursday that he was "so young" when he used to golf with the 76-year-old former president as Brady initially rose to fame as the quarterback of the New England Patriots in the early 2000s.

"This was 17 or 18 years ago," Brady told Variety when asked who would win when he golfed with Trump. "I was so young. I got to go to a private golf course. I thought it was the coolest thing in the world."

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On Thursday, Brady told Variety that he feels the press has "just mischaracterized a lot" about his past friendship with Trump over the years. The pair's relationship was first called into question soon after Trump initially launched his 2016 presidential campaign, when a "Make America Great Again" hat was spotted in Brady's locker in September 2015.

"I haven't talked to him in a lot of years," the NFL star said.

On the topic of Trump, Brady continued, saying that his "personality isn't ever one to insult anybody."

"I have plenty of my own flaws. I'm not here to point out anyone else's flaws. There are things that I agree with. There are things that I don't. There are things I agree with my wife about. There are things that I don't. I love her to death, but we don't always see eye to eye." Brady continued to say he does not "see eye to eye with anyone."

"And I'm not responsible for what other people say," he told Variety. "I'm really responsible for what I say. So if people want to say things that I said or that I'm about, that's up to them, and I'm not going to respond to all those things all the time either."

Brady's friendship with Trump dates back to 2002, according to an interview the future Hall of Famer did with Howard Stern in 2020.

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"In 2002, after I won my first Super Bowl, he asked me to go judge a Miss USA competition, which I thought was the coolest thing in the world because I was 24 years old and had a chance to do something like that," the quarterback said at the time.

After that, Brady said Trump would call him after games to let him know he had watched the star player and invite him out to play golf together. Brady told Stern in 2020 that Trump "became someone who would come up to our games and stand on the sideline and would cheer for the Patriots."

In 2020, Brady told Stern that being friends with Trump grew "uncomfortable for [Brady]" in the run-up to the 2016 election.

"You can't undo things, not that I would undo a friendship, but political support is a lot different than the support of a friend," he told Stern at the time.

Brady told Variety that he had a general distaste for politics at this point in his life.

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"Probably not," he said, when asked if he'd ever considered a political career. "I don't think anyone's fond of politics these days."

While the superstar quarterback appears sick of politics, he is building out opportunities for his career when his NFL days do eventually come to a close. Brady is set to appear in an upcoming film called '80 For Brady as the 2017 version of himself for a scene depicting Super Bowl LI, and he also signed a long-term contract with Fox Sports to be the network's lead NFL analyst when he does retire for good. However, Brady said he still does not exactly know what his life will be like when he hangs up the No. 12 jersey.

"I don't have a rhythm or sense of it," he told Variety. "I'll still want to stay in shape, but not in the intense way."