At least one person stands to gain something from President Donald Trump’s friendly relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft really wants one of his four Super Bowl rings back from Putin ― whom he alleges stole it from him during an encounter in 2005 ― and he hopes Trump will be able to broker the deal.
“I was willing to have [a replica ring] made with his name on it” in hopes Putin would exchange it for the original, Kraft told Fox Sports during Sunday’s pre-Super Bowl show. “Maybe we will have the new president [Trump] bring it to him when he connects with him.”
Kraft, along with Patriots star Tom Brady, is friends with Trump.
While Kraft maintained for years that he gave the $25,000 ring to Putin as a gift during a visit to Russia, he revealed in 2013 that the Russian president tried it on and refused to give it back.
“I took out the ring and showed it to [Putin], and he put it on and he goes, ‘I can kill someone with this ring,’” Kraft said at an event at the time. “I put my hand out and he put it in his pocket, and three KGB guys got around him and walked out.”
Kraft says he kept up the story at the request of White House officials, who said it would be good for U.S.-Russia relations if he pretended the ring was a gift. Now he’s hopeful that Trump, who has repeatedly said he respects Putin and shied away from disavowing him, will come through for him.
“I do have an emotional attachment to that ring,” Kraft said Sunday.