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Story highlights

"Yeah, it was a mistake. If I had to do it again, I wouldn't have sent it," Trump said

Asked if he was ever involved with a woman who had an abortion, Trump declined to answer

(CNN) —  

Donald Trump admitted to The New York Times on Saturday that retweeting an unflattering photo of Heidi Cruz was a mistake and that he would not do it again if given the opportunity.

“Yeah, it was a mistake,” he told columnist Maureen Dowd. “If I had to do it again, I wouldn’t have sent it.”

Dowd was asking about an incident last month in which Trump retweeted a picture of Cruz, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz’s wife, during a spat involving a nude photo of Trump’s wife, Melania, that was circulated by an anti-Trump super PAC.

It was a rare moment of contrition for Trump, who has previously said he has never asked God for forgiveness and who told CNN’s Anderson Cooper on Tuesday that one of the most recent apologies he could remember was to his mother years ago for using foul language.

The Times interview also was posted after a week in which the Republican front-runner made headlines for his comments on abortion and the arrest of his campaign manager in an incident involving a female reporter.

RELATED: Donald Trump’s history of controversy with women

Asked if he was ever involved with a woman who had an abortion, Trump declined to answer.

“Such an interesting question,” he said. “So what’s your next question?”

Trump insisted his controversial comments to MSNBC host Chris Matthews – in which he said there should be “some form of punishment” for women who get abortions if the procedure was outlawed – was in response to a hypothetical question.

RELATED: Why Trump’s abortion comments scare Republicans

“This was not real life,” he said. “This was a hypothetical, so I thought of it in terms of a hypothetical. So that’s where that answer came from, hypothetically.”

As for the Lewandowski incident, Trump responded affirmatively when asked if it would have been better if his campaign manager had called Fields to apologize for the incident.

“You’re right, but from what I understand it wouldn’t have mattered,” he said.