Trump said Belichick ‘chickened out’ by deciding not to accept Presidential Medal of Freedom: book
Former President Trump was reportedly upset by New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick’s decision not to accept the Presidential Medal of Freedom last year.
During an interview with New York Times reporters Jonathan Martin and Alexander Burns for an upcoming book, Trump reportedly said that Belichick “chickened out” after being offered the award.
An excerpt of the interview with Trump was obtained this week by Yahoo News.
“One of the rejections that had bothered him the most had come from Bill Belichick, the legendary coach of the New England Patriots who had declined Trump’s attempt to grant him the Presidential Medal of Freedom,” Martin and Burns reportedly write.
“In the immediate aftermath of the riot, it was just not possible for him to appear with Trump. Back then, Trump said, Belichick had ‘chickened out.’ But get this, Trump confided: The coach had just a week earlier been playing golf at Trump’s nearby course. Trump had run into him there on the second-to-last hole. ‘He came up to me on the seventeenth,” the former commander-in-chief recounted with relish,’ ” they added.
Trump reportedly said Belichick “hugged me and kissed me.”
After being offered the medal, Belichick declined, citing the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol, which had taken place days earlier.
“Subsequently, the tragic events of last week occurred and the decision has been made not to move forward with the award,” Belichick said in a statement at the time. “Above all, I am an American citizen with great respect for our nation’s values, freedom and democracy.”
A few months earlier, Trump called the Patriots coach “a very good friend of mine. He’s a winner.”
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