Bloomberg Business Week had a great interview with Robert Kraft this week – definitely read the full piece here – and they asked Kraft about his friendship with Donald Trump. It gives a bit of insight in to who Trump might be that The Apprentice or CNN won’t show you.
The full articles is a great interview with Kraft on the Patriots, how he got hold of them, what makes success in teams and business… and Nike sneakers.
Here’s the excerpt:
You’ve known Donald Trump for years. Tell us how that friendship has developed.
I’ve known the president for over 25 years. I never did any business with him. It was just a social relationship. One of the things there’s less of in the business world today is building relationships. Especially with iPhones and texting. It’s impacted Washington, because there’s not the discussion and the empathy and understanding of points of view different than yours. The only way you change things is to convince people to do what you think is right. But you can’t do that if it’s only one way.
Anyhow, I’ve known Donald for that period of time. I had the privilege of going to his wedding with Melania. Bill and Hillary Clinton were sitting at the table next to me, for the record.
The only bad deal I’ve had in my whole life is when my wife, bless her memory, died of ovarian cancer. He flew up to the funeral with Melania. They came to my home. And he called me once a week for a year and invited me to things. That was the darkest period of my life. And I’m a pretty strong person. But my kids thought I was going to die. There were five or six people who were great to me. He was one of them.
Loyalty and friendship and relationships trump politics for me. If I’ve had any modicum of success, it’s because I’ve had good relationships, and people trusted me. And so I always remember the people who were good to me in my most vulnerable time. He was in that category.
I know he does things or says things that … You know, he doesn’t mean everything he says. I’m privileged to know that. People who don’t know him don’t see the better side. But I’ll tell you one thing: He’s very hardworking. I really believe that he wants to make this country better. And he’s grown in the job. I’ve seen it, too. For me, it’s like having a high school buddy or a fraternity brother become president. It’s weird in a way, but it’s cool. I want to do anything I can to help him help this country.
I don’t believe that he is portrayed properly. A lot of people don’t see him the right way. Part of it is self-inflicted, with some of the style he uses. I really hope that things will be much better three to six months from now.