- New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft was charged with two counts of soliciting prostitution, Florida police said in a press conference on Friday.
- President Trump, a good friend of Kraft's, said he was "surprised" by the charges when asked about them by reporters.
- Kraft and the Patriots visited Trump in the White House after their Super Bowl LI win in 2017.
Robert Kraft, the owner of the New England Patriots, was charged Friday with two counts of soliciting prostitution in relation to a months-long investigation into a series of South Florida massage parlors.
A spokesperson for Kraft released a statement after the news broke, saying, "We categorically deny that Mr. Kraft engaged in any illegal activity. Because it is a judicial matter, we will not be commenting further."
President Trump, a close friend of Kraft's, said he was surprised to hear the news when asked about the charges by reporters.
"Well, it's very sad," Trump said. "I was very surprised to see it. He's proclaimed his innocence totally, but I'm very surprised to see it."
Kraft offered a detail of his friendship with Trump in a 2017 interview with the New York Daily News , noting that when his wife Myra died in 2011, Trump made an effort to console him, attending the funeral and proceeding to check in on him by phone every week to see how he was doing.
"He was one of five or six people that were like that," Kraft said. "I remember that."
Kraft's relationship with Trump carried through the latter's ascension to the presidency, and Kraft still has a direct line to reach the president by phone.
Kraft also visited the White House along with the Patriots to celebrate the team's comeback win in Super Bowl LI in 2017.
The Patriots are due for another visit to the White House after their win over the Rams in Super Bowl LIII in early February, but a date has yet to be set.
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Patriots owner Bob Kraft was just charged with soliciting prostitution. Here's how he made his $4.3 billion fortune, from working at his father-in-law's packaging company to buying the NFL team for $172 million.