U.S. President Donald Trump is in shock over the allegations made against his good friend Robert Kraft, People is reporting. The New England Patriots owner was accused of soliciting prostitutes in Florida and was eventually charged with two counts of solicitation on Friday, February 22. Trump was questioned by reporters about his feelings on the situation while at the White House to meet with Chinese leaders, including President Xi Jinping.
“Well it’s very sad, I was very surprised to see it,” Trump reportedly told journalists. “[Kraft] proclaimed his innocence totally, but I’m very surprised to see it.”
Indeed, Kraft is denying all charges against him. The Florida police say he made two separate visits to the Orchids of Asia Day Spa, a massage parlor that first came to authorities’ attention last October when it was observed through visual surveillance that only male clients could be seen entering and exiting, with most customers inside for less than an hour. Law enforcement now say the spa is part of an alleged human trafficking and prostitution network, and that they have evidence Kraft had been driven to a storefront spa in Jupiter and employees performed sex acts on him on at least two occasions. Jupiter Police Chief Daniel Kerr said there is video evidence of Kraft and 24 other men who are being charged with solicitation.
President Trump addresses the charges against Robert Kraft: "He's proclaimed his innocence totally... [I'm] very surprised to see it" pic.twitter.com/D2EmBMjI22— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) February 22, 2019
As for Kraft’s relationship with Trump, the two have been “friends for years” according to Kraft’s son Josh. Josh told reporters in 2017 that Trump was there to support his father while he was grieving the death of his wife, Myra, in 2011. Trump was said to have made multiple trips to Kraft’s home in Massachusetts to spend time with him during the rough period. Kraft now makes frequent visits to his friend in the White House, and even gifted him a personalized Super Bowl ring with Trump’s name engraved on it.
Since the news of Kraft’s alleged indiscretions broke, a spokesman for the Patriots owner said that they “categorically deny that [he] engaged in any illegal activity,” and would “not be commenting further” due to this being “a judicial matter.” The National Football League have also released their own statement addressing the new charges, and said that the league “is aware of the ongoing law enforcement matter and will continue to monitor developments.”
Kerr said that he and the Jupiter police team “are as deeply stunned as anyone else” about Kraft’s involvement in the crimes.