2017 Super Bowl: Donald Trump predicts Patriots will beat Falcons by eight points

In a wide-ranging interview, President Donald Trump talked about his immigration ban, voter fraud and Vladimir Putin before turning his attention to the Super Bowl LI showdown between the New England Patriots and Atlanta Falcons.

Perhaps not surprisingly, Trump, longtime friends with quarterback Tom Brady, coach Bill Belichick and owner Robert Kraft, thinks the Patriots will win their fifth Lombardi Trophy since 2001.

"I like Bob Kraft, I like coach Belichick and Tom Brady is my friend ... they're taking a lot of heat [for supporting me] but you know what? They're also getting a lot of popularity out of it.

"I think the [Falcons] are fantastic, turned out to be a good quarterback. But there's less pressure on the Patriots because they've been there. Once you've done it -- and they've done it -- there's a lot less pressure. So we'll see what happens. But you have to stick up for your friends, right?"

And the final score?

"I hate to make predictions but I'll say -- I don't even know the odds but it's pretty even, two great teams -- so I'll say the Patriots will win ... by eight points."

Back in early November, the night before the election, Trump told supporters in Manchester, New Hampshire, that Brady called him earlier in the day to say he voted for him, and then he read a letter of support he had received from Belichick.

During Opening Night last Monday, neither Belichick nor Brady were interested in explaining their friendship with Trump, because a) this is Super Bowl Week and the Patriots are All Business, b) Belichick isn't one to expound on most topics, and c) Brady's wife slapped him with a gag order when it comes to talking publicly about politics.

But Kraft has no such restrictions -- and no qualms when it comes to discussing his longtime friendship with the president of the United States.

"When [Kraft's wife] Myra died [in 2011], Melania [Trump] and Donald came up to the funeral in our synagogue, then they came for memorial week to visit with me," Kraft told Gary Myers of the New York Daily News. "Then he called me once a week for the whole year, the most depressing year of my life when I was down and out. He called me every week to see how I was doing, invited me to things, tried to lift my spirits. He was one of five or six people that were like that. I remember that."

CBS Sports Writer

Ryan Wilson has been an NFL writer for CBS Sports since June 2011, and he's covered five Super Bowls in that time. Ryan previously worked at AOL's FanHouse from start to finish, and Football Outsiders... Full Bio

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