Former President Trump on Wednesday attacked writer E. Jean Carroll as a “whack job” and dismissed the suggestion that he would suffer with women voters over a jury finding him liable for sexual abuse in a federal lawsuit earlier in the week.
During his CNN town hall, Trump repeatedly insisted he did not know Carroll, who accused Trump in 2019 of raping her in a department store dressing room during an encounter in the 1990s. A nine-member jury this week found Trump liable of sexual abuse and defamation, but not of rape.
“This is a fake story. Made-up story,” Trump said, later adding, “I have no idea who the hell she is. She’s a whack job.”
He recounted his version of events, which frequently elicited laughter from the town hall attendees.
“What kind of a woman meets somebody and brings them up and within minutes you’re playing hanky panky in a dressing room,” Trump said to laughter.
Asked if he thinks the jury’s findings will deter women from voting for him, Trump said: “No I don’t think so.”
A short time later, Trump was pressed on his comments from an “Access Hollywood” tape that was released during the 2016 campaign in which he was recorded bragging about groping women. He told CNN’s Kaitlan Collins that his comments are true, making the distinction that he said “women let you” grab them if you’re a star.
“I can’t take it back because it happens to be true. It’s been true for one million years,” Trump said.