President Donald Trump viewed his attacks on kneeling National Football League players as a beneficial political wedge issue, The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.
The revelation came in a sworn deposition by Dallas Cowboy's owner Jerry Jones, who recounted a phone call from the commander-in-chief last fall.
“This is a very winning, strong issue for me,” Trump reportedly told the billionaire team owner.
“Tell everybody, you can’t win this one. This one lifts me," Trump continued.
The White House claims the President was actually advising Jones on the best course for America and the good of the sport of football.
“The majority of the American people agree with the president, love our country, love our flag and believe it should be respected,” the White House argued.
Trump's influence over NFL owners is central to a collusion lawsuit filed by former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who was allegedly blackballed by the league for kneeling during the national anthem to protest police brutality.
Secret recordings revealed NFL owners feared Trump would attack them for hiring Kaepernick.