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July 12, 2019

Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello is apologizing after coming under fire following the leak of a profane private chat.

The governor in a news conference on Thursday said he is "a human being who has his faults" and that "I ask for forgiveness" for the leaked private chat, in which he called former New York City Council speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito a "whore," The Associated Press reports. He tried to offer something of an excuse for the leaked exchanges by saying he was working for 18 hours before sending them, although he said that "none of this justifies the words I've written" and offered "my apologies to all the people I have offended."

Rossello in the exchanges also told an oversight board to "go f— yourself," adding a series of middle finger emojis, AP notes. It hasn't been a great week for Rossello, with this conference coming after several former members of his administration were arrested as part of a corruption probe. Mark-Viverito earlier this week had slammed Rossello in a statement, saying that anyone who "uses that language against a woman ... should not govern Puerto Rico." Brendan Morrow

June 27, 2019

New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio was seen by many as an unexpected victor of last night's first round of Democratic presidential debates. But he didn't get to revel in that post-victory glow for very long.

De Blasio was forced to issue an apology on Thursday after quoting revolutionary Che Guevara at a Miami rally, as the Miami Herald reports he repeated the famous phrase associated with Guevara to a crowd of union workers: "Hasta la victoria, siempre!"

The New York City mayor immediately faced calls to apologize from some Florida Democrats for quoting someone who the Miami Herald noted is "one of the most hated historical figures throughout Miami." State senator Annette Taddeo tweeted that she's "utterly disgusted" while writing, "How can anyone wanting to be the leader of the free world quote a murderous guerrilla - in Miami no less! A community filled with his victims!"

State senator Jose Javier Rodríguez similarly wrote that "quoting a murderer responsible for death & oppression in communist Cuba and throughout Latin America is not acceptable," and both he and the chair of the Florida Democratic Party, Terrie Rizzo, called for an apology. Rep. Donna Shalala (D-Fl.) also slammed De Blasio by tweeting, "It is unacceptable to quote a murderer like Che Guevara, especially in Miami, where so many people have suffered as a result of his brutality."

The Miami New Times characterized the whole situation by writing that De Blasio "broke the literal most-obvious rule of Miami politicking: Don't quote Che Guevara."

De Blasio on Twitter subsequently offered an apology by saying he "did not know the phrase I used ... was associated with Che Guevara" and saying that "I did not mean to offend anyone who heard it that way." He also said that "I certainly apologize for not understanding that history." Brendan Morrow

June 17, 2019

Nicholas Sparks has issued an apology after a report showing he expressed opposition to an LGBTQ club at his school.

A report from The Daily Beast last week detailed how the bestselling author of The Notebook is in the middle of a legal battle with the former headmaster of his North Carolina prep school, the Epiphany School of Global Studies. Emails that came to light as part of this court case showed Sparks pushing for an LGBTQ club at the school to be banned, writing that "not allowing them to have a club is NOT discrimination" and that "there will be no club" like this at the school. In another, he tells the headmaster that he has "what some perceive as an agenda that strives to make homosexuality open and accepted."

In a statement on Monday, Sparks said that "I regret and apologize" over the fact that his words have "potentially hurt young people and members of the LGBTQ community." Sparks goes on to say that he is "an unequivocal supporter of gay marriage, gay adoption, and equal employment rights" and that "when in one of my emails I used language such as 'there will never be an LGBT club' at Epiphany, l was responding heatedly to how the headmaster had gone about initiating this club."

One of the emails in question had included Sparks saying that "we've had gay students before" and that the previous headmaster "handled it quietly and wonderfully." Sparks said he meant that the headmaster "supported them in a straightforward, unambiguous way."

While leaving some of the quotes from his emails unaddressed, Sparks said he regrets failing "to be more unequivocal about my support for the students in question." The author in a previous statement had dismissed the Daily Beast article as "not news." Brendan Morrow

March 13, 2019

Paul Manafort offered an apology for his crimes on Wednesday while awaiting a possible sentence of up to 10 more years in prison.

The former Trump campaign chair last week was sentenced to 47 months in prison after pleading guilty to tax and bank fraud — during his sentencing he emphasized feeling "humiliated and ashamed," to which Judge Thomas Ellis said, "I was surprised I did not hear you express regret," per NBC News. On Wednesday, Manafort told Judge Amy Berman Jackson, "In my previous allocation I told Judge Ellis I was ashamed for my conduct ... I want to say to you now that I am sorry for what I have done and for all the activities that have gotten me here today," per CNN.

Manafort also said he takes "responsibility for the consequences of these actions," BuzzFeed reports, and argued he has "already begun to change" and is a "different person." He asked the judge not to add more time to his existing sentence. "Please let my wife and I be together," he said, adding that he is almost 70 years old and that "she needs me and I need her," Talking Points Memo reports. Manafort has not yet received his sentencing from Berman Jackson. Brendan Morrow

February 11, 2019

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) is offering an apology after being accused of anti-Semitism by her fellow Democrats.

In a statement on Monday, Omar said she is "grateful" for those who are "educating me on the painful history of anti-Semitic tropes." She had responded to a tweet about House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy's (R-Calif.) support of Israel by writing, "It's all about the Benjamins baby," suggesting donations from pro-Israel groups were influencing his views. Democrats in Congress condemned her remarks, with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) saying that Omar's "use of anti-Semitic tropes and prejudicial accusations about Israel's supporters is deeply offensive."

Omar said Monday that she "unequivocally" apologizes. "At the same time," she added, "I reaffirm the problematic role of lobbyists in our politics," once again raising concerns about the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee.

Read Omar's statement below. Brendan Morrow

February 1, 2019

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) is expected to officially launch her presidential campaign next week, but first, she has an apology to make.

Warren on Thursday apologized to the Cherokee Nation for taking a DNA test and publicly releasing the results showing "strong evidence" of Native American ancestry, The New York Times reports. She had released these results in October largely in response to President Trump, who has mockingly nicknamed her "Pocahontas" and repeatedly suggested she is dishonest about her ancestry. The test ultimately showed Warren had a Native American ancestor 6 to 10 generations ago. But the move was not taken well by many including the Cherokee Nation, with the tribe saying she was "undermining tribal interests with her continued claims of tribal heritage," per The Washington Post.

Julie Hubbard, a Cherokee Nation spokesperson, confirmed to the Times Friday that Warren apologized to Principal Chief Bill John Baker, saying the two had a "brief and private" conversation. "The chief and secretary of state appreciate that she has reaffirmed that she is not a Cherokee Nation citizen or a citizen of any tribal nation," Hubbard said.

The Times had reported in December that although Warren was publicly expressing no regrets, she had "privately expressed concern that she may have damaged her relationships to Native American groups" with this episode, and some advisers recommended she issue a "strong statement of apology." She has now done so, albeit privately. With Trump having said just yesterday in a Times interview that Warren had been "hurt very badly with the Pocahontas trap," expect a presidential tweet about this shortly. Brendan Morrow

July 11, 2018

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is accusing New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) of violating both American and Mexican immigration laws during a trip to the border last month, The Associated Press reports. De Blasio joined 20 other mayors near El Paso, Texas, on June 21 to get a firsthand look at how President Trump's "zero tolerance" family separation policy was being carried out. The mayor's efforts were frustrated when he was denied entry to a migrant child holding facility.

Not to be discouraged, de Blasio then crossed into Mexico on foot, and crossed back to the U.S., to get a view of the facility and take pictures. CBP claims that a Border Patrol agent spotted the mayor's group and asked if anyone from the agency was with them to authorize their presence; the de Blasio group answered in the negative. Asked how they had gotten to their location, the group motioned to Mexico.

De Blasio and Co. were then informed that they had illegally crossed the border, CBP claims. They were told to wait while the agent went to get his supervisor to take them back for an inspection, per federal law, but in the meantime the miscreant mayor and his crew allegedly ignored the agent, got in their car, and drove back to Mexico.

Hizzoner says he did nothing wrong. Spokesman Eric Phillips told The Associated Press that the group had "direct approval" to be where they were and that "any suggestion otherwise is a flat-out lie and an obvious attempt by someone to attack the mayor because of his advocacy for families being ripped apart at the border by the Trump administration." Jeva Lange

April 20, 2018

When Michael Cohen wired $130,000 to a former adult film actress in October 2016, the point was that everyone would stay quiet.

Instead, the transfer has blown up in his face, as President Trump's personal attorney has found himself in the center of a sordid scandal that has played out in television shows, front pages, and FBI raids. The actress, Stormy Daniels — real name Stephanie Clifford — had spoken publicly in 2011 about an affair she says she had with Trump, but Cohen's acknowledgement in February that he paid her to keep quiet just weeks before the election sparked a tabloid firestorm.

Daniels says the affair occurred in 2006, just one year after Trump married his third wife, Melania, and just a few months after the birth of their son, Barron. Trump has denied the relationship. In a somewhat somber picture of Cohen's place in the Trump orbit, The New York Times on Friday said that Cohen at one point even tried to make amends to the first lady for making the Daniels story national news:

In a Fox News interview last year, Mr. Cohen declared: "I will do anything to protect Mr. Trump." He told Vanity Fair in September that "I'm the guy who would take a bullet for the president," adding, "I'd never walk away."

At a Republican fundraiser at Mar-a-Lago earlier this year, Mr. Cohen went so far as to approach the first lady, Melania Trump, to try to apologize for the pain he caused her with the payment to [Daniels], the adult film actress who has claimed to have had the sexual encounter with Mr. Trump. [The New York Times]

The Times goes on to list many indignities reportedly suffered by Cohen at Trump's hands. As longtime Trump adviser Roger Stone told the paper: "Donald goes out of his way to treat [Cohen] like garbage." Read more at The New York Times. Kimberly Alters

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