Former President Donald Trump mocked E. Jean Carroll as a «crackpot» and insisted that her account of being sexually assaulted by him decades ago was «false» and «fabricated» a day after a jury found him responsible for sexually abuse and defame the writer.
During a CNN open forum at St. Anselm College in New Hampshire on Wednesday, Trump was pressed about the verdict, one in which a nine-person New York jury awarded Carroll $5 million in damages. Host Kaitlan Collins first asked Trump what he would say to voters who felt that being found responsible for sexually abusing a woman disqualified presidential candidates.
«Well, there aren’t many of them,» replied the leading GOP presidential candidate. ‘Cause my poll numbers just came out [and] went up».
«My poll numbers are up, and they’re up with the other bogus charge as well,» Trump added, nodding to the charges he faces in New York for allegedly falsifying business records related to hush money payments to the movie star for adults Stormy Daniels and another woman toward the end of her 2016 presidential campaign.
It’s unclear what poll numbers Trump was referring to.
“Because what is happening is that they are doing this to interfere in the elections. I don’t know this woman,” she said of Carroll. «I’ve never met her. I have no idea who she is.»
On Tuesday, a New York jury found Trump liable for both sexual abuse and defamation stemming from Trump calling Carroll’s claims a «hoax» and a «scam.» The jury found him not responsible for the alleged rape of him.
Carroll sued in Manhattan federal court last year, saying Trump raped her in the dressing room of a Bergdorf Goodman department store near her Fifth Avenue home in the mid-1990s. She first went public with the claim. in 2019 in his book “What do we need men for? A modest proposition.»
“I filed this lawsuit against Donald Trump to clear my name and get my life back,” Carroll said in a statement. «Today, the world finally knows the truth.»
Triumph plans to appeal the verdict.
The former president has continued to insist that he has no idea who Carroll is, despite the fact that the two had been photographed together decades ago. He also said that Carroll was not the «type» of him, although he mistook Carroll for his ex-wife Marla Maples in a photo that was presented to him during his statement. She refused to testify in the case.
He noted Wednesday that the two appeared together in a photo.
«We had a horrible Clinton-appointed judge who was horrible,» Lewis Kaplan said of Judge Lewis Kaplan. «He allowed her to put all of her in. He allowed us to put nothing in.»
He said his testimony would not have made a difference because the trial was «a rigged deal.» He also defended comments he made about the infamous «Access Hollywood» tape, which was entered into evidence in the case.
Some Republicans, including those not aligned with him, believed the verdict was actually helpful to Trump, further cementing his status as the frontrunner who is being unfairly targeted in an effort to force him out of the race.
Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy, who is running as a Trump-aligned Republican, described the verdict as «just another part of the establishment’s anaphylactic response against its main political allergen: Donald Trump.»
That’s not to say there weren’t Republicans criticizing Trump after Tuesday’s verdict. Several Republican senators said they saw him as less eligible afterward. Republican presidential candidate Asa Hutchinson, a former Arkansas governor, said the verdict «must be treated seriously and is another example of Donald Trump’s indefensible behavior.»
dareh gregorian contributed.