Now, Donald Trump has even more green on his side.
Jets owner Woody Johnson reportedly has thrown his support — and money — behind the the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.
Johnson, who has owned the Jets since 2000, is known best in political circles as one of the biggest Republican fundraisers. Last year, he was named the national finance chairman for Jeb Bush’s presidential campaign. But with Bush long gone, Johnson “plans to raise money for the Republican National Committee and Trump through a joint fundraising committee,” according to Bloomberg News.
The New York Times also reported Monday that Trump “met privately on Monday” with Johnson, and the GOP candidate later confirmed the meeting in “a brief interview” with the newspaper.
“Woody’s a great guy,” Trump told The New York Times. “Woody will support me. He’s a terrific guy, he’s been a friend of mine a long time.”
Trump, however, took a jab at Johnson and the Jets last January, following the team’s Week 17 loss in Buffalo — a defeat that kept the Jets out of the playoffs for a fifth straight season.
“Woody Johnson, owner of the NYJets, is @JebBush’s finance chairman. If Woody would’ve been w/me, he would’ve been in the playoffs, at least!”
Publicly, Johnson has deliberately shied away from answering questions about who he’ll endorse in the upcoming election. At a Jets event in January, he tiptoed around the topic of Trump when asked if he would support him if he were the GOP’s nominee.
“Oh, jeez,” Johnson told reporters. “I don’t think anybody was predicting that at the beginning. But politics and sports, you have to kind of wait to see what happens.
“I’m not going to go there yet. I’m supporting Jeb Bush and I’m hoping that he’s going to make it. I think he’s the right answer for the country.”
Voters apparently disagreed. Bush bowed out of the race a month later.
Johnson, however, isn’t the only Jet who has shown Trump support. In March, center Nick Mangold introduced Trump at a rally in Dayton, Ohio. Mangold, a staunch conservative, also campaigned with Mitt Romney in 2012 and donated money to Gov. Chris Christie’s recent failed presidential bid.
Former Jets head coach Rex Ryan, now with the Bills, introduced Trump at a Buffalo rally last month.
“We’re all here tonight because we all support Donald Trump,” Ryan told the crowd.
But Johnson’s influence speaks volumes — financially.
According to Bloomberg News, Johnson’s “broad network of wealthy donors could be key to helping Trump reach the $1 billion he said he needed for the general election.”