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Robert Kraft Trump's a Financial Genius

7/20/2015 8:29 AM PDT

Robert Kraft -- Donald Trump's a Financial Genius (Video)

EXCLUSIVE

Donald Trump just got some praise from a very powerful man -- Patriots owner Robert Kraft ... who hailed Donald as a financial wizard ... even if he turned down a chance to buy the Pats in the '80s. 

There are reports Trump had a shot to buy New England in 1988 for somewhere in the neighborhood of $100 million ... but passed 'cause he didn't think it was worth it. 

Kraft bought the team in '94 for $172 mil -- and now they're reportedly valued at $2.6 BILLION!! 

So, when Kraft was leaving Craig's in West Hollywood last night, we asked about the Trump story -- to which he replied, "Donald Trump's a very good investor. I wouldn't question anything he does."

We thought we could sense some sarcasm in the statement -- but it turns out, Kraft and Trump have been good friends for 20 years ... so, maybe a serious compliment? 

We also asked about Rob Gronkowski's party habits and Tom Brady's suspension -- but he would comment on ONE of the players ... wanna guess which? 

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