The Washington Post released a 2005 video showing Donald Trump and former Access Hollywood host Billy Bush having a lewd conversation that reduced women to their bodies. Comments about women's "good legs," "phony tits," and Trump's desire to "grab them by the p---y" revealed a deeper look into how our Republican presidential nominee really thinks about women. That, in and of itself, wasn't surprising, but it doesn't have to be surprising for one to be outraged about the clear way Trump and Bush condoned sexual assault. Trump apologized for this 2005 video, but this "apology" video made it clear that Trump doesn't know how to apologize because, well, he's never actually sorry.
This is an interesting trait for a man who's seeking the most powerful office in the United States. Sure, you don't have to be an apologist to be president. In fact, President Obama was lamented for his so-called "apology tours," and he never even said the word "sorry." But that's the fundamental difference between a qualified president and someone like Trump: the ability to take ownership of your actions because you feel regret, you want to move forward, and you want to try to right the wrongs of your past. And those wrongs could be your country's, which is often the case for the president, and for which it is sometimes advisable to express sincere regret, particularly in maintaining foreign relations. This is not something Trump is capable of.
The first line of his apology is a contradiction: "I've never said I'm a perfect person, nor pretended to be someone that I'm not." But Trump is most certainly being someone he's not by simply issuing a public apology, especially when you consider that he's likely not (nor has he ever really been) genuinely sorry for his actions.
Trump has been advised to apologize on countless occasions — whether for bashing Megyn Kelly's job performance by implying she was menstruating, making disparaging POW comments about John McCain, or calling Mexican immigrants "rapists" and "criminals." But Trump simply isn't sorry. And this was made clear as a staple of his entire campaign back in June 2015 when he raved about his aversion to "political correctness," which has since become an easy explanation for his lack of remorse when it is clearly necessary.
These are just a few other examples in which Trump has issued a public "apology," but you'll notice that unless he's talking about a death or his show The Apprentice, these apologies are anything but sincere:
A Trump apology is one riddled in sarcasm and sass. He has actually used the word quite liberally on Twitter throughout the years, but it's clear that most of these apologies are just a way for him to cause more drama, and not to actually take ownership of his actions.
And if we consider the proper definition of "apologize," which is to express regret for something one has done wrong, well, that was clearly missing from Trump's apology for these 2005 comments. Referring to the release of this video as "nothing more than a distraction from the important issues we're facing today" reduces the entire situation — pussy grabbing and bragging about groping women included — to a calculated media "distraction" against Trump. Furthermore, this "distraction" (also known as sexual assault) is Trump's way of insisting that sexual assault is not an important issue. If he were truly sorry for his comments and the way in which he condoned this behavior, he would have never painted his "apology" in this way.
Similarly, Trump's shift to Bill Clinton and his relationships with women was just another way to ignore political correctness and to place the focus on anyone but himself. This is also not how apologies work, especially when Trump hinted that he will bring up Bill's sexual past at the Oct. 9 presidential debate to knock Hillary Clinton. Some way of owning his past and expressing regret for his wrongs.
Trump doesn't know how to apologize because he's never actually sorry. This 90-second video was a clear indication that the man who wants to run our country can't even find it in himself to denounce sexual assault, let alone issue a sincere apology for and acknowledge that rape culture is an important issue we need to solve.