Before Donald Trump was president, he was in the running to buy the Buffalo Bills, along with rock star Jon Bon Jovi.
Now, three years later, some organizers are saying Trump was behind efforts to block Bon Jovi's bid.
Michael Caputo, a PR consultant who went on to work on Trump's presidential campaign, now says that the billionaire investor-turned-president asked Caputo to start a grassroots fan campaign called 12th Man Thunder — which organized a fan petition to keep the team in Buffalo.
“Mr. Trump was convinced that the community wouldn’t stand for a move,” Caputo told the AP. “So he sent me off to try to organize something with local fans to get that rolling.”
This fanned rumors and speculation that Bon Jovi's intention — should he purchase the Bills — was to move the team to Canada.
“At the time I wish I could have told people,” said Charles Pellien, one of the group’s leaders. “I just wanted to blurt out, ‘Donald Trump is behind this!’ ”
Neither the White House nor the Trump organization responded to requests for comment on the claim, which was first mentioned on a Buffalo-area radio show in March and reported last month by GQ magazine. Bon Jovi's reps also declined to comment.
Buffalo Sabres owners Terry and Kim Pegula ended up with the Bills, who still play in Buffalo.
Contributing: The Associated Press