The mea culpa, for remarks that got under the then-real estate mogul’s skin four years earlier, was in exchange for an appearance on the NBC late-night show.
In February 2015 — four months before Donald Trump announced his bid for the White House — Seth Meyers invited the now-president to Late Night. But according to a Politico interview with Meyers published Tuesday (May 8), Trump had a non-negotiable demand: a public apology for Meyers' Trump jokes at the 2011 White House Correspondents' Dinner.
Back then, Meyers had joked about Trump not going through with a presidential campaign. “Trump has been saying he will run for president as a Republican, which is surprising, since I just assumed he was running as a joke,” Meyers said at the WHCD.
Four years later, Meyers ran into Trump at the Saturday Night Live 40th anniversary special, where he extended the invitation to Trump. “Trump] said he was receptive to coming in the beginning,” Meyers said. “There were some caveats he had that we were not interested in doing.”
The particular caveat was the on-air apology, which Meyers said “we would never have done.” Meyers revealed it was Trump's personal attorney Michael Cohen who tried to do the negotiating.
Politico's Edward-Isaac Dovere asked Meyers if Cohen fered to pay him “large sums money” — a reference to Cohen's hush payment to Stormy Daniels to allegedly hide a relationship between her and Trump — but Meyers joked that they “never got that far.”
Meyers added that he believed his initial WHCD joke “right up to the moment where Trump] won.”
This article originally appeared on THR.