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First on CNBC Interview: CNBC's Scott Wapner Speaks with Robert Kraft, Chairman & CEO of The New England Patriots on CNBC's "Squawk Box" (Transcript Included)

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When: Wednesday, May 14th at 8AM
Where: "Squawk Box"

Following is the unofficial transcript of a FIRST ON CNBC interview with Robert Kraft, Chairman & CEO of the New England Patriots.

All references must be sourced to CNBC.



QUINTANILLA: JOINING US WITH THE STORY AND A VERY SPECIAL GUEST IS OUR OWN SCOTT WAPNER.

WAPNER: ROBERT KRAFT IS THE CHAIRMAN AND CEO OF THE NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS AND HE'S GOING TO JOIN US FIRST ON CNBC THIS MORNING.MR. KRAFT, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR BEING HERE.

KRAFT: THANK YOU, SCOTT, I WATCH ALL OF YOU IN THE MORNING.

WAPNER: WE APPRECIATE YOU COMING ON FIRST ON CNBC THIS MORNING.THE HEADLINE AT THE BOSTON HERALD SAYS IT ALL, IT SAYS SORRY, PATS, THIS IS A PAPER THAT REPORTED THE STORY BACK ON FEBRUARY 2, SAYING THAT THE NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS VIDEOTAPED A WALK THROUGH BEFORE SUPER BOWL 36 AGAINST THE ST. LOUIS RAMS, IT NOW SAYS THE STORY IS NOT TRUE.DO YOU FEEL VINDICATED THIS MORNING?

KRAFT: I FELT VERY GOOD SEEING THIS PAPER BECAUSE WE HAVE WORKED VERY HARD OVER THE LAST DECADE AND A HALF TO ESTABLISH A STRONG BOND WITH OUR FANS WHERE THEY COULD TRUST AND BELIEVE IN THE INTEGRITY OF THE TEAM AND THIS STORY COMING OUT THE DAY BEFORE THE SUPER BOWL, THE BIGGEST GAME IN OUR HISTORY, GOING FOR A PERFECT SEASON WAS VERY DAMAGING AND PUT A CLOUD OVER US FOR THE LAST 3 1/2 MONTHS.AND I'M GLAD IT'S FINALLY COME TO AN END.

WAPNER: LET'S TALK ABOUT THAT, THIS IS AN ISSUE THAT HAS HUNG OVER YOUR FRANCHISE FOR MORE THAN 100 DAYS.WHAT DO YOU THINK THE RESIDUAL DAMAGE HAS BEEN TO YOUR BRAND OF THE NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS?

KRAFT: WELL, YOU KNOW, I THINK THAT PEOPLE WHO ARE PARTNERED WITH US OVER THE LAST 15 YEARS KNOW THAT WE PUT INDIVIDUAL EFFORT, WE SUBJUGATE THAT BACK TO THE TEAM, WE WORK HARD IN OUR COMMUNITY, WE WANT OUR SPONSORS TO BE ABLE TO EMOTIONALLY ATTACH THEMSELVES TO US AND KNOW THEY'RE GOING TO GET A VERY HIGH PERFORMANCE, HIGH GRADE PRODUCT.AND WE HAVE HAD A GREAT RELATIONSHIP WITH ALL THOSE PEOPLE OVER THIS TIME PERIOD.AND THIS ERRONEOUS STORY COMING OUT WAS REALLY HARMFUL.AND WHAT BOTHERS ME MORE ABOUT THIS STORY IS WHERE IT WENT THROUGHOUT THE COUNTRY WHERE PEOPLE DON'T KNOW US AS WELL.AND UNFORTUNATELY, NOW, THEY WON'T SEE THIS RETRACTION.BUT PEOPLE WHO KNOW US, KNOW WHAT WE'RE ABOUT.

WAPNER: YOU RAISE A GOOD POINT, BECAUSE THERE CLEARLY ARE ALWAYS GOING TO BE PEOPLE OUT THERE WHO ARE GOING TO LOOK AT YOUR FRANCHISE DIFFERENTLY FROM THIS DAY FORWARD, YOU'RE AWARE OF THAT?

KRAFT: WELL, I JUST HOPE THAT THEY SEE THIS AND UNDERSTAND, YOU KNOW, OUR MISTAKE THAT IT WAS THE BOSTON HERALD. AND THIS SET OF -- I WAS THINKING ABOUT IT, A LOT OF THE LEADERS IN YOUR AUDIENCE TODAY HAVE GONE THROUGH SIMILAR EXPERIENCES.AND WE'RE IN THIS AGE OF 24-HOUR INFORMATION, SEVEN DAYS A WEEK, A LOT OF THINGS CAN HAPPEN AND YOU CAN'T PROBABLY DEFEND YOURSELF.YOU JUST HAVE TO GO ABOUT YOUR JOB AND ONE THING I WILL SAY IS THIS COMING TOGETHER LIKE THIS AT THE END HAS MADE OUR ORGANIZATION STRONGER AND WE HAVE BEEN ABLE TO HOLD TOGETHER AND WE'RE EXCITED ABOUT THIS UPCOMING YEAR.

WAPNER: BOB, YOU HAVE A REPUTATION AROUND THE NFL OF BEING A HANDS OFF OWNER, IF YOU WILL, OF LETTING THE FOOTBALL GUYS DO THEIR JOBS, COACH BELICHICK LETTING HIM DO HIS JOB, LETTING YOUR FRONT OFFICE FOOTBALL PEOPLE DO THEIR JOBS. DO YOU THINK IN ANY RESPECT THAT THAT CAME BACK TO BITE YOU THROUGH THIS WHOLE SCENARIO AND WILL YOU CHANGE THE WAY THAT YOURUN THIS ORGANIZATION FROM HERE FORWARD?

KRAFT: WELL, I THINK WE DO STAY INVOLVED IN OUR ORGANIZATION, BUT WE LET GOOD PEOPLE DO THEIR JOBS. ONE OF THE GOOD THINGS THAT'S COME OUT OF THIS IS THAT THE RULE BOOK FOR THE NFL IS MANY HUNDREDS OF PAGES AND WE REALIZE THAT IT'S BEYOND THE SCOPE OF A COACHING STAFF OR PERSONNEL PEOPLE TO BE ABLE TO ADMINISTER PROPERLY AND WE HAVE DONE A FULL AUDIT OF ALL OF PROCEDURES AND WE NOW HAVE ORGANIZATIONAL PEOPLE AND OUR LAWYERS HELPING THE STAFF TO BE ABLE TO ADMINISTER THIS.AND I THINK WE HAVE COME OUT STRONGER BECAUSE OF THAT.

WAPNER: HOW DO YOU FEEL THROUGH THIS WHOLE PROCESS WHEN YOU LOOK ALL THE WAY BACK TO THAT JET GAME WHEN THIS FIRST CAME TO LIGHT THAT THE PATRIOTS HAD BEEN VIDEOTAPING SIGNALS FROM OPPOSING COACHES.HOW DOES THIS WHOLE THING JUST MAKE YOU FEEL ON A PERSONAL LEVEL?

KRAFT: WELL, WHEN YOU THINK ABOUT IT, WE, OUR PEOPLE BROKE A RULE THE FIRST WEEK OF THE SEASON. AND SINCE THAT TIME, THERE'S NO TEAM IN THE HISTORY OF SPORTS WHO'S BEEN UNDER MORE INTENSE SCRUTINY.AND WE WERE ABLE, OVER THE NEXT 18 WEEKS OF THE SEASON TO GO 18-0 AND WE WERE GOING TOWARDS A PERFECT SEASON.AND I DON'T THINK ANYONE CAN -- BECAUSE OF THE SCRUTINY THAT WAS GOING ON, NO ONE HAS QUESTIONED WHAT HAS HAPPENED DURING THAT PERIOD. WE WERE FORTUNATELY ABLE TO GET GREAT RATINGS, I THINK THE AMERICAN PUBLIC SEES US AS THE BEST SPORTS ENTERTAINMENT PRODUCT IN THE COUNTRY.AND THAT IS OUR FOCUS AND WE HOPE WE CAN CONTINUE DOING THAT NEXT YEAR.AND IT'S JUST SORRY THAT IT HAD TO END ON THIS SOUR NOTE.

WAPNER: LET ME ASK YOU ABOUT MATT WALSH, HE OF COURSE THE GENTLEMAN WHO USED TO WORK FOR THE PATRIOTS.HE MET YESTERDAY WITH SENATOR ARLEN SPECTER DOWN IN WASHINGTON.THE SENATOR IS GOING TO HAVE A NEWS CONFERENCE TODAY. WHAT DO YOU EXPECT TO HEAR TODAY DO YOU EXPECT THERE TO BE ANY ADDITIONAL FALLOUT FROM HIS PERSPECTIVE?

KRAFT: SENATOR SPECTOR IS A VERY DISTINGUISHED SENATOR AND I'M GOING TO LET HE AND HIS CONSTITUENTS SPEAK FOR WHAT HIS PRIORITY SHOULD BE FOR AMERICA.I KNOW MY PRIORITY IS THAT WE WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT WHAT'S GOING ON FOR OUR FANS AND ACTUALLY ALL THE FANS OF THE NFL THAT WE CONTINUE TO HAVE THE BEST SPORTS ENTERTAINMENT PRODUCT WE CAN.

WAPNER: MR. KRAFT, JOE KERNEN WOULD LIKE TO ASK YOU A QUESTION.

KERNEN: HOW IS THE PACKAGING BUSINESS DOING?

KRAFT: WELL, YOU KNOW, IN AMERICA, WE'RE A LITTLE SOFT RIGHT NOW OUR EXPORT BUSINESS HAS BEEN VERY STRONG.OUR PAPER COMMODITIES AND EVEN OUR LUMBER BUSINESS AT THIS POINT IN TIME. BUT WE'RE STARTING TO SEE A LITTLE SOFTENING IN EUROPE, ASIAIS VERY STRONG AND WE HAVE ACTUALLY HAD VERY STRONG SHIPMENTS TO SOUTH AMERICA AS WELL.

KERNEN: WHAT ABOUT INPUT COSTS, BOB?

KRAFT: WELL, YOU HIT IT ON THE HEAD.AS THE DEMAND HAS SOFTENED, OUR ENERGY COSTS, OUR DELIVERY COSTSARE QUITE HIGH.AND WE'RE NOT ABLE TO PASS THAT ALONG RIGHT NOW.SO OUR MARGINS ARE GETTING SQUEEZED.

QUICK: HEY, BOB, IT'S BECKY, REALLY QUICKLY.

KRAFT: HOW ARE YOU?

QUICK: IT'S GREAT TO SEE YOU AND THANKS FOR COMING ON TODAY. I KNOW THAT IN THIS PARTICULAR INSTANCE, THE NFL IS NOW SAYING THERE'S NO NEW INFORMATION HERE,AND THEY WANT TO MOVE ON BUT AT THE END OF THE DAY, THERE WAS TAPING GOING ON AT OTHER GAMES, CORRECT?

KRAFT: NO--WELL, IF -- I THINK THAT OUR COACH MISINTERPRETED THE RULE AND IN THIS -- THESE TAPES THAT YOU SAW WENT BACK FIVE, SIX YEARS AGO.AND I THINK THE RULE WAS CLARIFIED AS THE BEGINNING OF THE '07 SEASON.AND THAT'S WHEN WE WERE PENALIZED FOR WHAT HAPPENED AT THE JETS FLAME GAME.

KERNEN: WE HAD A PICTURE OF YOU EARLIER, I JUST WANT TO LET YOU KNOW THAT YOU OWE US FOR THIS PICTURE THAT WE HAVE OF YOU. DID YOU SEE IT?

KRAFT: MY SON TOLD ME, JONATHAN, HE SAID HE SAW IT AND HE THOUGHT IT WAS THE --

KERNEN: YOU WERE LOOKING SO GOOD. YOU'RE GETTING YOUNGER.

QUINTANILLA: WHAT DOES THAT SAY ABOUT HIM RIGHT NOW?

KERNEN: YOU LOOK GOOD NOW.

KRAFT: CARL, YOU PICKED UP ON IT.

KERNEN: LOOK AT THAT, THAT IS GREAT. DO YOU AGREE TO COME ON ONLY THIS NETWORK, THAT'S THE PICTUREWE'RE GOING TO SHOW.

KRAFT: THE 1994 PICTURE.

KERNEN: NO, HE'S STILL AS YOUNG AND DAPPER AS EVER.

KRAFT: WHAT DOES BECKY THINK?

QUICK: I THINK YOU LOOK GREAT. I LIKE THE WAY YOU LOOK RIGHT NOW, MR. KRAFT.

KRAFT: YOU'RE GOOD.THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

QUINTANILLA: HERS IS THE ONLY OPINION THAT MATTERS.WE ALL KNOW THAT.

KRAFT: FROM MY POINT OF VIEW.

WAPNER: HEY, MR. KRAFT, I WANT TO THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR JOINING US, AS I SAID, FIRST ON CNBC. IT'S ALWAYS GREAT TO HAVE YOU ONTHE NETWORK. BOB KRAFT, THE OWNER OF THE NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS.




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