Donald Trump’s Sorry He Offended You, Not Sorry for What He Did
That’s the implication, anyway, in his official statement, sent to reporters Friday afternoon after The Washington Post released a tape of him discussing his behavior in 2005 with Billy Bush, then of Access Hollywood and now of the Today Show.
“This was locker room banter,” Trump said by way of explanation, “a private conversation that took place many years ago. Bill Clinton has said far worse to me on the golf course—not even close. I apologize if anyone was offended.”
The utter lunacy of a Republican presidential nominee using his friendship with the husband of the Democratic presidential nominee as a defense for making misogynistic statements should not be lost on us. There are 31 days left until Election Day, in case you’re now wondering.
But what’s more: Trump didn’t actually say he was sorry. In fact, Trump has never—publicly, anyway—apologized to anybody for anything he’s done or said, at least not in a way that wasn’t entirely sarcastic, like when he apologized to (the very dead) Pocahontas for being unfair to her by using her name to mock Elizabeth Warren.
An apology would require some self awareness or humility, and the overwhelming evidence suggests Trump has neither.
In the tape, Trump can be heard saying, “You know, I’m automatically attracted to beautiful—I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait…And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.”
Bush then seemed to say, “Whatever you want.”
To which Trump replied, “Grab them by the pussy…You can do anything.”
Trump, who was married to his third and current wife Melania at the time the conversation, said, “I gotta use some tic tacs, just in case I start kissing her,” after ogling a soap opera star who was outside of the trailer he and Bush were sitting in.
But he’s not sorry, even if the wording of his statement makes it sound like an apology.
And some people—even those in the media tasked with reporting accurately on what the nominee says—have been fooled.
“Donald Trump apologises after a videotape emergences showing him making lewd comments,” the BBC Tweeted.
“Trump apologizes for ‘locker room banter’ after past recordings emerge” reported the Washington Times.
“Trump apologizes after Wash Post Releases Audio of Lewd Comments,” said Bloomberg.
The non-apology is standard practice in politics as in life, but Trump seems to use it more than others. In September of 2015, Jimmy Fallon asked Trump why he doesn’t apologize.
Trump said, “I think apologizing is a great thing, but you have to be wrong.”
But even when he is, he can’t bring himself to say the words.
In August, after he hired some actually experienced campaign operatives to remove the foot from his mouth, he said, “Sometimes, in the heat of debate and speaking on multitude of issues, you don’t choose the right words or you say something wrong. I have done that, and I regret it, particularly where it may have caused personal pain.”
Note the lack of specificity and personal responsibility.
After needling Warren by labeling her “Pocahontas,” Trump sarcastically said, “I do regret calling her Pocahontas, because I think it’s a tremendous insult to Pocahontas…So, to Pocahontas, I would like to apologize to you.”
When Trump fell behind Ben Carson in an Iowa poll in October 2015, Trump retweeted a fan suggesting too much corn in Iowans’ diets might be to blame. “#BenCarson is now leading the #polls in Iowa…Too much #Monsanto in the #corn creates issues in the brand? @realDonaldTrump #GOP” the hashtag user said.
After pushback Trump apologized…on behalf of the “young intern” he claimed had been using his account. “The young intern who accidentally did a Retweet apologizes,” he said.
He never apologized to John McCain for saying he wasn’t a war hero, nor to Ted Cruz for making fun of his wife’s appearance or for implying his dad helped kill President Kennedy.
He didn’t apologize to Khizr Khan or his family, or his deceased son—an American hero who died serving our country.
And he didn’t apologize to Rosie O’Donnell or Megyn Kelly or Alicia Machado or any of the other women he’s degraded and mocked.
He didn’t say sorry for labeling all undocumented Mexican immigrants (except for “some” who he said he assumed might be “good people”) rapists and criminals.
Or to Muslim-Americans, not even the ones who serve our country, for proposing an unconstitutional and inhumane ban on all members of the religion from entering the country.
The Daily Beast asked the Trump campaign if he at least apologized to his wife for making those remarks in 2005.
We haven’t heard back.