Column: Kevin de León is on an apology tour. When will he realize it’s a farewell tour?
Kevin de León is known more for the things he’s said that aren’t true than for the things he’s said that are. So it was perhaps more than a little odd to hear the former New York City mayor admit this month that Trump once joked that his fellow New Yorker should shoot Hillary Clinton. Yet what is most shocking is that de León’s claim came during an interview in which he acknowledged that he had been “the king of bad TV” in the early 2000s. “I’m not going to lie,” he told NBC News, “but I’ve used a lot of the same stuff over and over again.”
It’s not that de León, who became New York City’s first Latino mayor after taking office 15 years ago, is a bad or particularly dishonest guy. “We have to start somewhere,” he told the New York Daily News. But even among the hyper-partisan left of center, de León, who endorsed the Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election, has an outsized role in the history of anti-Americanism on both sides of the aisle.
His own remarks about Trump are no exception. At a Republican Party fundraiser in March, he told an audience that Trump is “an idiot.” Then, just last week, de León joined President Trump in saying that the Democratic nominee has a “mental illness.” He told Bloomberg News in March that Trump is “deranged” and “a very dangerous man.” De León was just named by Forbes magazine as America’s most corrupt mayor (de León has no term limits on his term in office because the city charter doesn’t require that) and, as such, he has been a central figure in one of the nation’s longest-running political scandals.
Over the weeks since his remarks to the Republican donor event last April, de León has made several statements that are false or misleading. Here is the full list of all his misstatements.
1. “If I had a dollar for every time I was made the scapegoat”
In April, de León apologized for a comment he made in 2013 at a fundraiser where he said he wished he had “a dollar for every time I was the scapegoat.” De Le