It was a little surprising when President Donald Trump agreed to a sitdown interview before Super Bowl 53. Not because he hasn’t done that before — he did, two years ago. But because the interview aired on CBS, not Fox.
It was not at all surprising when Trump was asked for his game prediction and went with the Patriots over the Rams in the Super Bowl. Here’s what he told CBS’ Margaret Brennan:
Brennan: You’re a Patriots fan. We know that. Do you expect them to win at the Super Bowl this year?
Trump: Well, they have a very special owner and coach and certainly they have, I guess, the greatest quarterback of all time. So, I would say they would win. As the expression goes, who knows? I hope it’s a great game.
Brennan: So you’re still betting on Tom Brady to pull this off?
Trump: Well I am, and I would say that you have the combination of the coach also who’s, you know, the best, and the owner. So, it’s a great — it’s a great chemistry on that team. A team needs chemistry and they certainly have it. So I think they’ll do well, but we’ll see what happens.
Unlike Tony Romo, Trump did not give a prediction of the final score (though Romo could not pick a winner).
Trump has a longstanding friendship with Patriots owner Robert Kraft, as well as head coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady. He congratulated them after they topped the Chiefs in the AFC Championship Game two weeks ago:
Congratulations to Bob Kraft, Bill Belichick, Tom Brady and the entire New England Patriots team on a great game and season. Will be a fantastic Super Bowl!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 21, 2019
In 2017 when Trump was interviewed on Fox before Super Bowl 51, he also picked the Patriots to beat the Falcons, which they did in historic comeback fashion. Some members of the team — but not all — visited the White House a couple months after the Super Bowl to celebrate the championship.
Last year, Trump opted out of pregame interview with NBC during a year when he picked a fight with the NFL about player protests. The Eagles beat the Patriots and did not make a trip to the White House.
Trump was optimistic that there would be another White House visit this year. “People love to come to the White House,” he told Brennan. “The Patriots were here two years ago, and I’m sure they’ll be back.”
This year, Trump is back at the pre-Super Bowl interview, continuing something started by President George W. Bush and that turned into an annual tradition by President Barack Obama.
In 2016, when Trump was running for president, he also made a Super Bowl prediction, taking the Broncos and “good guy” Peyton Manning over the Panthers. The Broncos did, in fact, win Super Bowl 50.
We’ll see if Trump correctly picked the winner again this year. And for those keeping track, you can add the president to the list of, oh, everyone else who believes the Patriots will win Sunday night.