‘Sorry’ really does seem to be the hardest word – especially if you’re Donald Trump.
With the blustery reality show host dominating the Republican presidential polls in spite of – or perhaps, because of – a variety of offensive statements aimed at women and minorities, many have demanded that Trump apologize. The real estate mogul this week even drew the ire of Fox News Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes, who said Trump should say he’s sorry for his latest attacks on anchor Megyn Kelly, who grilled Trump on past anti-woman comments at the first GOP debate of the 2016 contest.
Ailes is hardly alone. There have also been calls for Trump to apologize to Sen. John McCain and families of POWs after he questioned the Arizona lawmaker’s Vietnam war record. Then there’s his suggestion that Mexican immigrants are “rapists” and “killers,” and his rant against Kelly in which he implied she had only grilled him because she was menstruating.
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In typical Trump fashion, the never shy, always controversial billionaire real estate mogul has refused to express remorse – frequently arguing instead that he’s speaking the truth and won’t be chained to what’s “politically correct.”
So has Trump ever apologized for anything?
The answer is yes—but it’s rare. And you have to count it as a Trump apology if it comes through an assistant, is forced by a state commission, or is delivered sarcastically.
In 2000, Trump and his associates agreed to issue a public apology and fork over $250,000 in fines after it was discovered they did not tell a state lobbying commission that Trump secretly paid for newspaper ads against an Indian-run casino in the Catskills. The ads reportedly included pictures of cocaine lines and drug needles, while listing alleged grievances against the Mohawk Indian Nation, asking, “Are these the new neighbors we want?”
In 2013, Trump—through an assistant—reportedly apologized to Jase Robertson from the A&E reality show “Duck Dynasty” after the bearded star was mistaken as a hobo at his Trump Plaza hotel in New York City. According to The News-Star (the Louisiana hometown newspaper of the Robertson family) brother Alan Robertson said, “Mr. Trump was pleased with the way [Jase] handled the situation and he apologized for any inconvenience.”
When it comes to Trump’s personal Twitter account, he frequently says, “sorry” but it’s oftentimes sarcastic. A few gems: On April 20, he tweeted at Kelly: “Sorry, there was only one ‘breakout star’ this weekend in New Hampshire.” On April 18, he wrote, “For all of the haters and losers out there sorry, I never went Bankrupt – but I did build a world class company and employ many people!” Back in May 2013, he said “Sorry losers and haters, but my I.Q. is one of the highest – and you all know it! Please don’t feel so stupid or insecure, it’s not your fault.”
He also insists that it’s others who should be the ones apologizing. Trump called out McCain on Twitter, saying the senator should say he’s sorry to the thousands of supporters he called “crazies” who showed at a Trump rally in Phoenix. Or President Obama for “telling a big fat lie” about his health care plan, or ABC News’ Tom Llamas for a “fraudulent story” about him.
Trump also apologized for not being able to appear on “Fox & Friends”—once because he was in India “on a couple of major business deals,” and another time because he was in the United Arab Emirates. “Sorry, for all of the millions of people who long to hear my brilliant words of wisdom on “Fox & Friends” on Monday A.M., no go—in Dubai,” he tweeted in May 2014.
Trump addressed his lack of apologies just last week during an interview with The Hollywood Reporter.
The publication asked Trump what was the last thing he apologized for. The reality show host – who acknowledged saying sorry “for me is very difficult” – said “It was too many years ago to remember. I have one of the great memories of all time, but it was too long ago.”