Donald Trump

What was the Accusation?

During the 2016 presidential campaign, the Washington Post obtained a tape from ten years prior of Republican nominee Donald Trump talking crassly about women to Access Hollywood host Billy Bush.  Two statements in particular ignited public criticism.  First he said: “I moved on her [name not stated] like a b**ch, but I couldn’t get there, and she was married. Then all of a sudden I see her, she’s now got the big phony tits and everything.” The second, and perhaps most controversial, comment was: “I’m automatically attracted to beautiful [women]…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 … Grab them by the p***y. You can do anything.” Trump released a video shortly after where he argues that he “regrets” the words he spoke and that anyone who knows him knows these words don’t reflect who he is. He also released a statement to the post, which read:”This was locker room banter, 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.€  Some of Trump’s supporters would argue that the timing of the video’s release, just prior to the election, was not a coincidence.

Key Apologia Strategies:

Minimization, Mortification, Bolstering, Corrective Action



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’ve 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’re facing today. We are losing our jobs, we’re 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.


Diamond, J. (2016, October 8). Trump issues defiant apology for lewd remarks — then goes on the attack. CNN. Retrieved from:

Haberman, M. (2016, October 8). Donald Trump’s apology that wasn’t. New York Times. Retrieved from:

Jacobs, B., Siddiiqui, S., & Bixby, S. (2016, October 8). ‘You can do anything’: Trump brags on tape about using fame to get women. The Guardian. Retrieved from:

Transcript of Donald Trump’s videotaped apology (2016, October 8). New York Times. Retrieved from: