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What does Tom Brady have to do with the federal government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic?

Let us explain.

President Trump brought up the ex-Patriots quarterback in his Thursday afternoon press briefing.

His comments were spurred by a report from the Washington Post about a conference call held with US governors about the Trump administration’s actions.

According to the Post, Governor Jay Inslee of Washington took issue with Trump’s statement on the call that “his administration was ready to be the ‘backup’ for states in crisis.”

“We don’t need a backup. We need Tom Brady,” Inslee said in response.

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Later Thursday, Trump took the opportunity to take a stab at the press and work in a reference the NFL star.

“Somebody in the fake news said one of the governors said, ‘Oh, we need Tom Brady.’ I said yeah ... he meant that in a positive way, he said: ‘We need Tom Brady.’

“He meant it very positively but they took it differently, they think that Tom Brady should be leading the effort,” Trump continued. “That’s only fake news, and I like Tom Brady, spoke to him the other day, and he’s a great guy.”

You can watch Trump’s comments about Brady here:

Brady, 42, recently signed a deal to join the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as their new quarterback. While he does not have any experience in leading a nation through a public health crisis, he does have experience in leading a football team to a Super Bowl title – six of them, in fact.

Brady and Trump have long been acquainted and the quarterback got caught up in a political firestorm in 2015 when a “Make America Great Again” hat was spotted in his locker.

It’s unknown if Trump spoke to Brady “the other day,” as the president claimed.

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Katie McInerney can be reached at katie.mcinerney@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter at @k8tmac.