Donald Trump insists people are on 'both sides' of exonerated Central Park 5 case

President Donald Trump continued his refusal to apologize for his 1989 call to execute five black teenagers who were falsely accused of rape in the notorious Central Park Five case.

“You have people on both sides of that,” Trump told reporters outside the White House on Tuesday when asked if he would apologize. “They admitted their guilt.”

Trump then referred to Linda Fairstein, a prosecutor on the case who published an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal last week standing by the prosecution.

“If you look at Linda Fairstein and look at some of the prosecutors,” he continued, “they think that the city should never have settled that case. So we’ll leave it at that.”

Trump took out full-page ads in New York City newspapers in 1989 calling for the reinstatement of the death penalty in New York following the arrest of five black teens in connection with the rape of a white jogger in Central Park.

All five teens were convicted based on coerced confessions and little evidence. They were exonerated in 2012 thanks to DNA evidence and were paid millions by the city to settle lawsuits.

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Central Park Five through the years
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Central Park Five through the years
Raymond Santana, right, Kevin Richardson, and Yusef Salaam, left, react to supporters Thursday, Jan. 17, 2013, in New York. The three men who were exonerated in the 1989 Central Park Jogger case, were in court for a hearing in a $250 million federal lawsuit they filed against the city after their sentences were vacated. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
UNITED STATES - OCTOBER 12: Central Park rape suspect Kevin Richardson. (Photo by Gene Kappock/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
Kevin Richardson is photographed during a rally outside Federal court, Thursday, Jan. 17, 2013, in New York. Richardson and three other men, who were exonerated in the 1989 Central Park Jogger case, were in court for a hearing in a $250 million federal lawsuit they filed against the city after their sentences were vacated. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
UNITED STATES - CIRCA 2000: Anton McCray, accused of raping and beating a Central Park jogger, walks to court with the Rev. Al Sharpton. (Photo by Clarence Davis/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
Honoree Antron McCray attends The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Southern California's 25th annual Awards Luncheon at the JW Marriott at L.A. Live in Los Angeles on June 7, 2019. (Photo by VALERIE MACON / AFP) (Photo credit should read VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - NOVEMBER 16: Central Park rape suspect Kevin Richardson. (Photo by Gene Kappock/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
With Raymond Santana, right, at his side, Kevin Richardson, left, speaks during a news conference in front of City Hall, Friday June 27, 2014 in New York. Santana and Richardson are two of five men exonerated in the Central Park jogger rape case that the New York City comptroller has approved a tentative $40 million settlement for their wrong conviction in the 1989 Central Park jogger attack. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)
UNITED STATES - DECEMBER 23: Raymond Santana, the last of the Central Park jogger defendants, is escorted from the Queensboro Correctional Facility in Long Island City. Santana remained in jail on drug charges when the convictions of the five defendants in the rape case were overturned last week. He was freed today when a Supreme Court judge reduced his sentence on the drug charge. (Photo by Andrew Savulich/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
Raymond Santana is photographed during a rally outside Federal court, Thursday, Jan. 17, 2013 in New York. Santana and three other men who were exonerated in the 1989 Central Park Jogger case, were in court for a hearing in a $250 million federal lawsuit they filed against the city after their sentences were vacated. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
UNITED STATES - FEBRUARY 11: Kharey Wise testifies against the death penalty at a hearing before the New York State Assembly at Pace University. Wise, who was wrongfully convicted of beating and raping a woman jogger in Central Park in 1989, spent 15 years in prison. He was released when the real assailant confessed to the crime. (Photo by Debbie Egan-Chin/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 20:(L-R) Kevin Richardson, Antron Mccray, Raymond Santana Jr., Korey Wise, and Yusef Salaam, collectively known as the "Central Park Five", attend the World Premiere of Netflix's "When They See Us" at the Apollo Theater on May 20, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Taylor Hill/FilmMagic)
UNITED STATES - MARCH 14: Yusef Salaam listens to his sister, Aisha, during news conference at the City Council offices on Broadway. Salaam, one of the five men convicted in the Central Park jogger rape case, spent over 6 years in prison before his conviction was overturned in 2002. Salaam will be filing a lawsuit against the city for wrongful imprisonment. (Photo by Mike Albans/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
Yusef Salaam is photographed during a rally outside Federal court, Thursday, Jan. 17, 2013, in New York. Salaam and three other men, who were exonerated in the 1989 Central Park Jogger case, were in court for a hearing in a $250 million federal lawsuit they filed against the city after their sentences were vacated. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
(L-R) Honorees Yusef Salaam, Korey Wise, Raymond Santana, Antron McCray and Kevin Richardson attend The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Southern California's 25th annual Awards Luncheon at the JW Marriott at L.A. Live in Los Angeles on June 7, 2019. (Photo by VALERIE MACON / AFP) / The erroneous mention[s] appearing in the metadata of this photo by VALERIE MACON has been modified in AFP systems in the following manner: Korey Wise] instead of [Kharey Wise]. Please immediately remove the erroneous mention[s] from all your online services and delete it (them) from your servers. If you have been authorized by AFP to distribute it (them) to third parties, please ensure that the same actions are carried out by them. Failure to promptly comply with these instructions will entail liability on your part for any continued or post notification usage. Therefore we thank you very much for all your attention and prompt action. We are sorry for the inconvenience this notification may cause and remain at your disposal for any further information you may require. (Photo credit should read VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - OCTOBER 23: Central Park rape suspect Kevin Richardson arrives at court. (Photo by Gene Kappock/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
Raymond Santana, left, and Kevin Richardson, right, together during a press conference in front of City Hall, Friday, June 27, 2014 in New York. Santana and Richardson are two of five men exonerated in the Central Park jogger rape case that the New York City comptroller has approved a tentative $40 million settlement for their wrong conviction in the 1989 Central Park jogger attack. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)
Central Park Jogger Jury Selection -- Yusef Salaam, tall with flattop leaves court with unidentified woman. Probably his mother. Antron McCray leaves court with his parents (short, suit). June 13, 1990. (Photo by Marc Vodofsky/New York Post/Photo Archives, LLC via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 20: Antron Mccray at The Apollo Theater on May 20, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Taylor Hill/FilmMagic)
UNITED STATES - FEBRUARY 11: Kharey Wise arrives at Pace University to testify against the death penalty at a hearing before the New York State Assembly. Wise, who was wrongfully convicted of beating and raping a female jogger in Central Park in 1989, spent 15 years in prison. He was released when the real assailant confessed to the crime. (Photo by Debbie Egan-Chin/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 27: Yusef Salaam, one of the five men wrongfully convicted of raping a woman in Central Park in 1989, speaks at a press conference on city halls' steps after it was announced that the men, known as the "Central Park Five," had settled with New York City for approximately $40 million dollars on June 27, 2014 in New York City. All five men spent time in jail, until their convictions were overturned in 2002 after being proven innocent. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 07: Honoree Yusef Salaam becomes tearful as he speaks at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Southern California's 25th annual awards luncheon on June 7, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. Salaam was one of the five teenagers wrongfully convicted of raping a jogger in New York's Central Park in 1989. The five were dubbed 'The Central Park Five' at the time and have since been released and completely exonerated. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 09: Anton McCray, Raymond Santana and Korey Wise onstage at the Netflix "When They See Us" FYSEE Event at Raleigh Studios on June 09, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Handout/Getty Images for Netflix)
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Trump paid $85,000 for the ads, which said the boys “should be forced to suffer, and, when they kill, they should be executed for their crimes.”

At a news conference following the arrest of the boys, Trump continued to lash out.

“It’s more than anger,” Trump told reporters at the time. “It’s hatred, and I want society to hate ’em.”

The Netflix series “When They See Us” was released last month and follows the story of the Central Park Five. It is currently Netflix’s most watched show, according to the streaming service. Ava DuVernay, the director of the series, told People that Trump’s past comments are “unconscionable.”

“The statements that he made and the ads that he took out, he took out two weeks after they were arrested, before their trial, calling for the deaths of the minors,” DuVernay told the publication.

As for people on the “other side,” Fairstein was dropped by her publisher following the release of “When They See Us” over her handling of the case.

  • This article originally appeared on HuffPost.
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