Why the Bill Belichick Endorsement Letter Donald Trump Read Monday Night May Be Fake

Donald Trump
Did Donald Trump read a fake endorsement letter from New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick? Reuters

Since he first announced his presidential candidacy, Donald Trump has coveted Tom Brady's endorsement. The Republican presidential nominee has gushed about the Patriots quarterback, calling him a "friend," a "winner" and a "great guy." 

But Brady never really endorsed his supposed good friend Donald Trump. When he was asked last September if Trump had what it takes to be president, Brady said he "hopes so," and that a Trump presidency would mean "a putting green on the White House lawn." A "Make America Great Again" hat was also spotted in Brady's locker. The media blew the quasi-endorsement out of proporation, and later that month Brady clarified that he did not know for whom he would be voting. He's avoided politics ever since, and even walked out of a press conference last month when he was asked about the Billy Bush tape of Trump describing how he treats women. Brady clearly doesn't want anything to do with the election.

This is because Tom Brady knows better than just about anyone what it's like to be in the middle of a media firestorm. After all, he had to live through #Deflategate. So Brady doesn't want to answer questions about anything other than football. He doesn't even really want to answer questions about football. Neither does his coach, Bill Belichick, who is even stingier with the press than Brady. Unlike Brady, who at least smiles during press conferences, Belichick visibly despises having to placate the media when the questions are about football, much less a political circus. 

And yet, on Monday night, at his final rally before Election Day, Trump told a New Hampshire audience that both Brady and Belichick had endorsed him, an odd revelation to come less than 24 hours before the state's polls would close. Even stranger, Trump read an endorsement letter he claimed was written by Belichick.

Here's the transcript of the letter:

"Congratulations on a tremendous campaign. You have dealt with an unbelievably slanted and negative media and have come out beautifully. You’ve proved to be the ultimate competitor and fighter. Your leadership is amazing. I have always had tremendous respect for you, but the toughness and perseverance you have displayed over the past year is remarkable. Hopefully tomorrow’s election results will give the opportunity to Make America Great Again. Best wishes for great results tomorrow, Bill Belichick.”

There are a number of reasons to doubt the authenticity of this letter, and of the endorsements themsevles. As metioned, it is totally out of character for Brady or Belichick to willingly involve themselves in something that is going to bring on additional media attention. Secondly, just look at the language in the letter. Tremendous? Remarkable? Amazing? These sound like words Trump might use if he were, say, to write up a fake endorsment letter from Bill Belichick. The line, "You have dealt with an unbelievably slanted and negative media and have come out beautifully" is particularly hard to imagine the tight-lipped Patriots coach penning to Trump at the eleventh hour. Again, it sound like something Trump would say about himself, and as we know, Trump has a history of impersonating other people to heap even more praise on himself.

There are other clues that this may be a hoax.

As Esquire's Charlie Pierce pointed out, Belichick does not have a reuptation for supporting conservative causes.

On Friday, meanwhile, Tom Brady's wife, supermodel Gisele Bundchen, let slip on Instagram that she and Brady were not supporting Trump.

Yahoo!'s Hunter Walker was able to get on the phone with Belichick following Trump's rally on Monday, but when he asked Belichick about the letter, the Patriots coach hung up on him, which indicates he does not want to talk about it, which could indicate he never wrote the letter in the first place.

Walker also reached out to the Trump campaign and was told that Belichick sent the letter in the form of an oddly formatted and puncutated email. According to what the campaign sent Walker, Belichick even capitalized all the letters in the "Make America Great Again" slogan and even tacked on not one, but two exclaimation points at the end of it.

But just as it may be hard to believe that Belichick wrote this letter to Trump, it should be hard to believe that the Republican nominee for president would totally fabricate an entire endorsment letter from a notable public figure and read it aloud to his supporters. That is, it should be hard to believe this, but then again we are talking about Donald Trump, who has been exposed for putting forth numerous falsehoods throughout the election. With Election Day only hours away, meaning there wouldn't be enough time f0r backlash to swell, it seems entirely plausible Trump may have tried to pull off a stunt like this in a swing state with a Patriots-supporting population.

Hell, it wouldn't even be the first time Trump lied about getting a letter from someone affiliated with the NFL.