President Donald Trump went on a long rant Saturday as he once again denied E. Jean Carroll’s sexual assault allegations, taking the opportunity to not only disparage his accuser but also New York magazine and women in general who make allegations of assault against men. Carroll has a new book out in which she details Trump’s alleged assault against her in the dressing room of a Bergdorf Goodman in the mid-1990s. New York magazine published an excerpt of the book on Friday.
Carroll is the 22nd woman to accuse Trump of sexual misconduct on the record, but when he was asked about it in a brief back-and-forth with reporters Saturday, the president disparaged the whole thing as ridiculous. “I have no idea who this woman is this,” Trump said Saturday.
“It is a totally false accusation. I think she was married, as I read, I have no idea who she is, but she was married to an actually nice guy, Johnson, a newscaster.”
With the words Trump was repeating a claim he made in the initial statement denying the allegations even though the piece in New York magazine contains a photo of him with Carroll. When someone brought that up, he said it was irrelevant. “Standing with my coat on in a line, give me a break. With my back to the camera,” Trump said. “I have no idea who she is. What she did is terrible. What’s going on. It’s a total false accusation, and I don’t know anything about her.”
Trump went on to turn this into a bigger issue, characterizing it as yet another example of how women are ruining men’s lives by coming forward with these types of allegations. “When you look at what happened to Justice Kavanaugh and you look at what’s happening to others, you can’t do that for the sake of publicity,” he said. The president went on to characterize New York magazine as “failing” and about to go out of business. “They’ll do anything they can, but this is about many men, and I was one of the many men that she wrote about. It’s a totally false accusation. I have absolutely no idea who she is,” he said.
Trump said this was just the latest instance of women making false claims about him. “There were numerous cases where women were paid money to say bad things about me,” Trump said. “You can’t do that. You can’t do that, and those women did wrong things, that women were actually paid money to say bad things about me.”
In the cover piece in New York magazine, Carroll says she ran into Trump at Bergdorf Goodman in Manhattan in 1995 or 1996. She had just started writing an advice column for Elle at the time and the two recognized each other. He proceeded to ask for her advice on buying a present for “a girl.” He selected a “lacy see-through bodysuit of lilac gray” and asked her to try it on for him. When they got to the dressing room he lunged at her.
“He seizes both my arms and pushes me up against the wall a second time, and, as I become aware of how large he is, he holds me against the wall with his shoulder and jams his hand under my coat dress and pulls down my tights,” she writes. “I am astonished by what I’m about to write: I keep laughing. The next moment, still wearing correct business attire, shirt, tie, suit jacket, overcoat, he opens the overcoat, unzips his pants, and, forcing his fingers around my private area, thrusts his penis halfway — or completely, I’m not certain — inside me. It turns into a colossal struggle.” No more than three minutes later she managed to flee.
Trump issued a statement Friday night denying the allegations and accusing Carroll of making up the claims “to sell a new book” that “should be sold in the fiction section.” He called on anyone who “has information “has information that the Democratic Party is working with Ms. Carroll or New York magazine” to notify members of his administration.