Trump picks Patriots to win Super Bowl: 'You have to stick up for your friends, right?'

President Donald Trump predicted his "friends" the New England Patriots will walk away Super Bowl champs following Sunday's big game against the Atlanta Falcons.

During a FOX News interview with Bill O'Reilly that aired before kickoff, Trump was hesitant at first to pick a winner, saying he "hates to make predictions" before he settled on Tom Brady's team to win by eight points.

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Trump ran down his list of acquaintances in Patriots camp, saying he liked both New England owner Bob Kraft and Coach Bill Belichick, and that he considered star quarterback Tom Brady "a winner" and his "friend."

"You have to stick up for your friends, right?" the president said after picking the Pats to win their fifth ring of the Belichick-Brady era.

Trump has a history standing up for those close to him. Just this past week, the president said he was cutting "a lot out of Dodd-Frank" because "friends of mine that have nice businesses, they can't borrow."

Even prior to Trump officially entering the world of politics, the billionaire businessman replied, "So true, (except friends)!" to a tweet telling him not to run for president because the "world would be screwed."

Trump also acknowledged that the Patriots, specifically Belichick and Brady, have been "taking a lot of heat" for over their connection and seeming support of the new Republican president.

"You know what? They are also getting a lot of popularity out of it," said Trump.

"I think they are going to do very well. Tom's a winner. The coach is a great coach," he said.

"So you are rooting for them to win?" asked O'Reilly.

Trump said the "other team is fantastic" but that the Patriots have less pressure on them since they've won before.

"Once you've won, once you've done it... there is less pressure," Trump said possibly invoking his own re-election odds following his upset victory.

Brady was one of the earliest celebrities to promote a Trump "Make America Great Again" hat when one showed up in his dressing room during a postgame interview.

Coach Belichick reportedly wrote the president a glowing letter of encouragement following the billionaire's election win.