After Donald Trump called Texas Sen. Ted Cruz a "pussy" on the campaign trail Monday for his stance on waterboarding, he played off the inflammatory comment as just a crowd having a good time. "We were all just having fun," Trump said Tuesday on MSNBC's Morning Joe, clarifying that he was simply repeating what a supporter shouted out during the rally so "everybody could hear."
Making off-the-cuff remarks and apologizing later isn't a new strategy for the outspoken real estate mogul. Here, five other times Trump has made a controversial comment and then later cast it as nothing but a joke. Becca Stanek
The issue: Cruz's hesitation on whether he would support waterboarding
Trump's comment: "She just said a terrible thing. You know what she said? Shout it out, 'cause I don't want to. Okay, you're not allowed to say — and I never expect to hear that from you again — she said... he's a pussy."
The excuse: "We were all just having fun. I was just repeating what she said so everyone could hear. I was doing everybody a favor. I got a standing ovation [and] the place went wild. You're talking about close to 5,000 people. It was a great moment. The world is politically correct."
The issue: His unshakeable popularity with voters
Trump's comment: "I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn't lose voters."
The excuse: "That comment was said with me laughing and thousands of other people laughing. It was said as a joke — obviously it was a joke."
The issue: Climate change
Trump's comment: "The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive."
The excuse: "Well, I think the climate change is just a very, very expensive form of tax. A lot of people are making a lot of money. I know much about climate change. I'd be — received environmental awards. And I often joke that this is done for the benefit of China. Obviously, I joke. But this is done for the benefit of China, because China does not do anything to help climate change. They burn everything you could burn; they couldn't care less. They have very — you know, their standards are nothing. But they — in the meantime, they can undercut us on price. So it's very hard on our business."
The issue: His daughter, Ivanka
Trump's comment: "Yeah, she's really something, and what a beauty, that one. If I weren't happily married and, you know, her father..."
The excuse: "I said on a certain show — my daughter's a beautiful young woman — so I said, and I said it joking, everybody laughed, everybody laughed. I said, 'My daughter's so beautiful that if I weren't married, etc., etc. I'd be dating her.' Cute. It was cute. Everybody laughed... The next day [the headline was] 'Trump Wants to Date His Daughter.'"
The issue: Trump's treatment of women
Trump's comment: Fox News debate moderator Megyn Kelly referenced Trump's past remarks about women during the first GOP debate, asking him to explain why he has called women "fat pigs," "dogs," "slobs," and "disgusting animals."
The excuse: "I think the big problem this country has is being politically correct. Frankly what I say — and oftentimes, it's fun; it's kidding; we have a good time — what I say is what I say."
Queens of the Stone Age frontman says he kicked photographer because he was 'lost' in his performance
Queens of the Stone Age frontman Josh Homme apologized on Sunday for kicking a concert photographer in the face during a concert Saturday night, saying he was "in a state of being lost in performance" when it happened.
The band played the first night of L.A. radio station KROQ's annual Almost Acoustic Christmas concert, in front of a sold-out crowd. Chelsea Lauren told Variety she was taking photos in the pit when Homme came by, smiling. "The next thing I know his foot connects with my camera and my camera connects with my face, really hard," she said. "He looked straight at me, swung his leg back pretty hard, and full-blown kicked me in the face." She said it was "obviously very intentional" and when she went to the hospital for treatment, she was encouraged to press charges by people who looked at video shot of the incident.
In a statement, Homme said he knew he kicked over "various lighting and equipment" on stage, but didn't know until Sunday that "this included a camera held by photographer Chelsea Lauren. I did not mean for that to happen and I am very sorry." Lauren said that after he kicked her, Homme took out a knife and cut his forehead, and blood dripped down his face the rest of the night. He also called the audience "retards," Variety reports, told them to take off their pants, and insulted the next band to come on stage, Muse. Catherine Garcia
The Thomas Fire that started in Southern California's Ventura County last Monday has burned over 200,000 acres, growing in size by more than 25,000 acres on Sunday and forcing more people to evacuate in Santa Barbara County.
The out-of-control fire crossed county lines on Saturday night, fueled by dry winds and air, and is only 15 percent contained. Officials say 88,000 people have had to flee their homes because of the fire, and estimate it has cost $25 million to fight it so far. There are 8,500 firefighters currently battling six fires burning across Southern California.
In Santa Barbara County, about 85,000 customers are without power, and several schools have already canceled classes on Monday. The Santa Barbara Zoo is outside of the evacuation area, but smoke is in the air and ash is falling on the property, forcing the zoo to put the animals in their night quarters. To keep them entertained, staffers are playing with the animals and giving them plenty of treats and toys. "The gorillas like music," director of marketing Dean Noble told the Los Angeles Times. Catherine Garcia
While accepting the Nobel Peace Prize on Sunday, the director of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) warned that "the deaths of millions may be one tiny tantrum away."
During the ceremony in Oslo, Beatrice Fihn said the world has a choice to make — "the end of nuclear weapons or the end of us" — and the risk of using nuclear weapons is "greater now than during the Cold War." As North Korea continues to test missiles, including some believed to be able to deliver a nuclear warhead to the continental U.S., and the war of words between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un continues to escalate, a "moment of panic" could lead to "the destruction of cities and the deaths of millions of civilians," Fihn said. ICAN, a coalition of hundreds of non-governmental organizations, formed in 2007, and aims to ban all nuclear weapons. Catherine Garcia
Republican Roy Moore and Democrat Doug Jones are running to fill the Alabama Senate seat vacated by Attorney General Jeff Sessions — but don't forget, Alabama is already represented in the Senate by Sen. Richard Shelby (R), who told CNN's Jake Tapper on Sunday he does not want Moore as a colleague.
"I'd rather see the Republican win, but I'd rather see a Republican write-in. I couldn't vote for Roy Moore," Shelby said on State of the Union. "I didn't vote for Roy Moore, but I wrote in a distinguished Republican name, and I think a lot of people could do that. Will they do it, I'm not sure."
"I understand [Republicans] would like to retain that seat in the U.S. Senate," he continued, " but I tell you what, there's a time — we call it a tipping point. I think, so many accusations, so many cuts, so many drip, drip, drip. When it got to the 14-year-old's story, that was enough for me. I said, 'I can't vote for Roy Moore.'"
— CNN (@CNN) December 10, 2017
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley maintained on CNN's State of the Union Sunday that President Trump's decision to formally recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel this past week will not hinder the Israel-Palestine peace process.
"When it comes to those that are upset, we knew that was going to happen. But courage does cause that. When you make a decision, you're going to have some that see it negatively and you're going to have some that see it positively," she told host Jake Tapper. "But I strongly believe this is going to move the ball forward for the peace process."
Trump's controversial announcement sparked outrage among religious leaders and Arab League nations, as well as protests by Muslims worldwide, some of them violent. Watch an excerpt of Haley's comments below, or watch the full interview via CNN here. Bonnie Kristian
— CNN (@CNN) December 10, 2017
"Women who accuse anyone [of sexual misconduct] should be heard. They should be heard and they should be dealt with," U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said Sunday on CBS' Face the Nation. "And I think we heard from them prior to the election. And I think any woman who has felt violated or felt mistreated in any way, they have every right to speak up," she continued.
Asked whether the election means sexual misconduct accusations against President Trump are a "settled issue, " Haley said the public must make that call. "I know that he was elected," she said. "But, you know, women should always feel comfortable coming forward. And we should all be willing to listen to them."
Watch a clip of Haley's CBS appearance below. Bonnie Kristian
— Face The Nation (@FaceTheNation) December 10, 2017
After coming under criticism for being too slow to address sexual misconduct allegations against media figures like producer Harvey Weinstein, Saturday Night Live has been making up for lost time. The latest episode sees the subject pop up in the cold open, a Weekend Update segment, and a sketch called "Sexual Harassment Charlie."
The scene is an office workplace, where two newly fired employees — James Franco's CFO Doug and Kenan Thompson's elderly front desk man, Charlie — are apologizing to their female coworkers for past sexual harassment. Doug apologizes for inappropriate nicknames and compliments, while Charlie is sorry for making comments like, "If I was 11 years younger, I'd put you in a large sack, throw you in the trunk of my Eldorado, drive you to my sister's house with a big old medical bed, crack open the windows, and show you a good old time for 28 minutes."
Where Doug's apologies are met with renewed disgust, the women wave away Charlie's vivid retelling of his far more serious misconduct as "Charlie being Charlie." The skit's interrogation of inconsistencies in how we respond to harassment ends with an unexpected twist. Watch the whole thing below. Bonnie Kristian