Fact Check

Did Bruce Springsteen Pen a Letter Apologizing for Letting Trump Win the Presidency?

An open letter about President Trump allegedly from Bruce Springsteen was not actually written by the musician.

Published Feb. 11, 2017

Bruce Springsteen wrote an open letter apologizing for letting Donald Trump become president.

On 8 February 2017, The Observer published an open letter ostensibly from musician Bruce Springsteen concerning the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States, titled "A Letter of Apology from Bruce Springsteen for Letting Trump Win":

My name is Bruce Springsteen, and one day soon, when the windows of your mosques are smashed and the synagogues lie in ashes, when the skies are gray with dust and the sea has risen to wash away the roads, when the stars and stripes of our flag stand for discrimination and fear, I will wonder, could I have made a difference?

I have had to look at myself in the mirror. More importantly, I have had to look at my children, and consider, uncomfortably, the world they will inherit. And I wonder.
Could I have made a difference? Did I do everything I could have done?

This letter was not actually written by Bruce Springsteen. Although the missive was not explicitly labeled as "satire," The Observer dropped a few not-so-subtle hints to indicate that it was not an actual apology letter from The Boss.

First, the author identified in the byline of the "open letter" was not Bruce Springsteen, but Tim Sommer:

Additionally, the letter ended with the sign-off "Love, Bruce," but an asterisk was appended to the word "Bruce," and footnote following the letter explained the meaning of the asterisk: "*Not Actually Bruce:"

Finally, Bruce Springsteen did not publicize the letter on his social media accounts in the days following its publication, something he'd have been inclined to do if he were truly trying to get a message out to the public.

Dan Evon is a former writer for Snopes.