The Slatest

Trump: “I Said It, I Was Wrong, and I Apologize”

Just after midnight, Donald Trump offered up a brief videotaped statement in which he gave America his most doleful squint and play-acted contrition over the footage obtained Friday by the Washington Post that showed him, among other things, boasting about grabbing women “by the pussy.” He said sorry, called the leaked video a “distraction from the important issues,” and then talked a little about Bill Clinton’s penis. It was an apology in the sense that someone else put the words “I apologize” on a cue card for him, but it didn’t reckon with the substance of the Post’s video—what he was describing on the tape was criminal sexual assault—and it closed with Trump mustering up all of his butchy pride and promising to let his id out for a walk soon enough.

Trump’s videotaped statement is above. Here’s what he said:

I’ve never said I’m a perfect person nor pretended to be someone that I’m not. I’ve said and done things I regret, and the words released today on this more-than-a-decade-old video are one of them. Anyone who knows me knows these words don’t reflect who I am. I said it, I was wrong, and I apologize. I’ve traveled the country talking about change for America, but my travels have also changed me. I’ve spent time with grieving mothers who’ve lost their children, laid-off workers whose jobs have gone to other countries, and people from all walks of life who just want a better future. I have gotten to know the great people of our country, and I’ve been humbled by the faith they placed in me. I pledge to be a better man tomorrow and will never, ever let you down. Let’s be honest: We’re living in the real world. This is nothing more than a distraction from the important issues we are facing today. We are losing our jobs; we are less safe than we were eight years ago; and Washington is totally broken. Hillary Clinton and her kind have run our country into the ground. I’ve said some foolish things but there’s a big difference between the words and actions of other people. Bill Clinton has actually abused women, and Hillary has bullied, attacked, shamed, and intimidated his victims. We will discuss this more in the coming days. See you at the debate on Sunday.

Read more Slate coverage of the 2016 campaign.