Donald Trump Says His Latest Rape Accuser Is 'Not My Type' After She Detailed Violent Sexual Assault

The president has repeatedly tried to dismiss an allegation of sexual assault or misconduct by decrying the accuser's physical appearance

President Donald Trump returned to a familiar defense when responding this week to a startling new rape allegation from noted advice columnist E. Jean Carroll.

“I’ll say it with great respect: No. 1, she’s not my type. No. 2, it never happened. It never happened, okay?” he told The Hill in an Oval Office interview on Monday.

As The New York Times notes, this wasn’t the first time the president tried to dismiss an allegation of sexual assault or misconduct by decrying the accuser’s physical appearance. (He has denied all wrongdoing.)

During his 2016 campaign, when a woman said he had reached up her skirt on an airplane, Trump told supporters: “Believe me, she would not be my first choice, that I can tell you.”

After former PEOPLE writer Natasha Stoynoff went public with her account of him forcibly kissing her while she was interviewing him in December 2005, Trump said in 2017, “Look at her. Look at her words. Tell me what you think. I don’t think so.”

Responding to her a year earlier, while campaigning for president, Trump had said, “Check out her Facebook page — you’ll understand.”

The president has been accused of sexual assault or misconduct by more than a dozen women. He has steadfastly denied the allegations and repeatedly claimed he does not know the women involved despite, as in Stoynoff’s case, there being evidence the two had met.

After Carroll came forward late last week, Trump said in an initial statement he had never met her either, though there was a photo of them together published in her piece recounting the alleged assault. (Asked about that by reporters on Saturday, he said, “[I was] standing with coat on in a line — give me a break — with my back to the camera.”)

In an excerpt from her forthcoming book, published on Friday in New York magazine, Carroll wrote that Trump raped her in Bergdorf Goodman in Manhattan in the mid ’90s.

In unsparing detail in the excerpt, from her memoir What Do We Need Men For? A Modest Proposal, Carroll recalled allegedly running into Trump in the department store in Manhattan in either late 1995 or early 1996 and his subsequent attack on her in a dressing room.

E. Jean Carroll and Donald Trump
Astrid Stawiarz/Getty; NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty I

At the time, Carroll was the host of a cable advice show. For nearly 30 years she has been the author of an eponymous advice column for Elle, the longest-running such column in the country.

She wrote that she did not report the incident to police and there were no witnesses; Bergdorf Goodman said they had no security footage from that time period, according to New York.

However, two unnamed friends of Carroll’s confirmed to New York that she told them what happened at the time.

“He raped you,” one friend told Carroll, according to her excerpt. “He raped you. Go to the police! I’ll go with you. We’ll go together.”

In his statement responding to her, the president noted the lack of witnesses, surveillance video or a police report and suggested, without evidence, that Carroll might have worked with political rivals in telling her story.

“False accusations diminish the severity of real assault,” Trump said. “All should condemn false accusations and any actual assault in the strongest possible terms.”

“It is a disgrace and people should pay dearly for such false accusations,” he said.

According to Carroll, she ran into Trump as she was about to leave Bergdorf Goodman.

The two had met before, Carroll wrote. Trump “look[ed] prettier than ever” and he asked her for advice on what kind of gift he should buy for an unnamed woman. (He was married at the time to Marla Maples, with whom he shares daughter Tiffany Trump.)

Donald Trump speaks during a joint press conference
President Donald Trump. STEFAN ROUSSEAU/AFP/Getty

Eventually the two made their way to the store’s lingerie section and into a dressing room where, according to Carroll, she believed she would succeed in having Trump jokingly try on a piece of women’s clothing.

Instead, in the room, Trump attacked her as she fought back, she wrote.

“[S]till wearing correct business attire, shirt, tie, suit jacket, overcoat, he opens [my] overcoat, unzips his pants, and, forcing his fingers around my private area, thrusts his penis halfway — or completely, I’m not certain — inside me,” she wrote.

Amid their “colossal struggle,” Carroll wrote, she tried to push him away, tried to stomp on his feet, and was eventually able to get away and run out of the store.

The altercation took three minutes or less, she wrote.

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