BOSTON (CBS) -- Bill Belichick is known for minimizing outside distractions, but rarely does he create a potential distraction himself. The Patriots head coach made national headlines when President-elect Donald Trump read a letter from him at one of his last campaign stops in New Hampshire, but it was unclear whether he would address the story in his Wednesday press conference.
Belichick began his presser like he does every week, talking about the Patriots' Week 10 opponent, the Seattle Seahawks. But he then briefly addressed the Trump letter, a rare departure from Belichick's norm of withholding any and all information about a story unrelated to the football team.
Here's his statement on the Trump letter in full:
"I've received a number of inquiries relative to a note that I wrote to Donald on Monday. Our friendship goes back many years, and I think anybody that's spent more than five minutes with me knows that I'm not a political person. My comments are not politically motivated. I have a friendship and loyalty to Donald. A couple of weeks ago, we had Secretary of State [John] Kerry in our locker room. He's another friend of mine. I can't imagine people with more different political views than those two. To me, friendship and loyalty is just about that. It's not about political or religious views.I write hundreds of notes and letters every month. Doesn't mean that I agree with every single thing that every person thinks about politics or religion or other subjects. But I have multiple friendships, they're important to me, and that's what that was about.
It's not about politics, it's about football, We've got a huge game this week against a great football team, great organization, and that's where it all is going forward. On Seattle."
It was after that statement that Belichick took his brand of media stonewalling to unprecedented new levels. Two follow-up questions on the letter to Trump were asked, but Belichick responded to the first one with "Seattle" before repeatedly saying "Seattle" as the second question was being asked. As it finished, the second question was met with a long silence before reporters switched gears to asking about the Seahawks.
Belichick may not have meant his letter as a form of political support, but President-elect Trump certainly used it to his advantage in the closing days of the election. It's safe to say that Belichick won't be talking about the letter again.
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