President Trump told reporters Tuesday that the now-exonerated Central Park Five “admitted their guilt” after he was asked about a full-page newspaper ad he took out that called for the five teens to be put to death. Journalist April Ryan asked Trump whether he would “apologize to the Central Park Five” since they were later “exonerated” for the rape of a jogger in 1989. “Why do you bring that question up now? It’s an interesting time to bring it up,” the president responded. “You have people on both sides of that. They admitted their guilt. If you look at Linda Fairstein and you look at some of the prosecutors, they think the city should never have settled that case. So, we'll leave it at that.”
According to CNN, Trump said the five “admitted they were guilty” during a 1989 interview and said he was “strongly in favor of the death penalty.” The case has received increased attention after a Netflix miniseries, When They See Us, prompted backlash against the prosecutors involved—including Fairstein. The former sex-crimes prosecutor stepped down from multiple charity boards and was dropped by her publisher in light of the series.