Bernhard Langer said President Donald Trump called him last week and apologized for involving him in a bizarre story used to bolster his unverified claims of widespread voter fraud.
“We talked on the phone, and he was very clear … if there was anything that hurt me, he apologized,” Langer told reporters at the Allianz Championship on Thursday. “And I apologized, too, for some of the quotes that were incorrect and we’re on good terms. It was fun talking to him briefly and I thought that’s a great gesture from him because he’s got a lot of other things to be concerned about, not just, you know, this golfer Bernhard Langer.”
Langer’s name made headlines in January when The New York Times reported that Trump, while speaking to lawmakers in a reception at the State Dining Room, claimed that the two-time Masters champion had been unable to vote at his polling place in Florida while several people from Latin American countries “who did not look as if they should be allowed to vote” were permitted to cast provisional ballots.
The problem? Langer is a German citizen and is therefore not allowed to vote in the United States.
As the controversy picked up steam, Langer issued a statement blaming the whole affair on a “mischaracterization by the media,” but now he claims the story was misconstrued as it traveled along the grapevine en route to the White House.
“I didn’t say anything to the president,” Langer said. “We never talked. I told a story to a friend, and the friend told the story to another friend, and another friend and another friend. Somewhere down the line, six people later, somebody knew somebody at the White House and that’s how it went, OK?”