Former President Donald Trump responded to being found liable for sexual battery and defamation against former Elle Magazine columnist E. Jean Carroll by a civil trial jury during a CNN Republican presidential town hall Wednesday.
Carroll accused Trump of raping her inside a dressing room at Manhattan’s Bergdorf Goodman department store in 1995 or 1996. The jury found him liable of battery and defamation, but not of rape, and awarded Carroll $5 million in damages.
Trump alleged Carroll and the jury of interfering in the 2024 presidential election through this case.
“My poll numbers just came out, they went up,” Trump said. “I think I’m the only person in history to have had a charge like that and usually, you leave office, you say, ‘I’m sorry, but I’m going back home. I’m back home to my family, and everything, I’m resigning.’ My poll numbers went up and they went up with the other fake charge too. Because what’s happening is they’re doing this for election interference.”
He then addressed a photograph of him standing next to his ex-wife, Ivana Trump, Carroll and her husband in the 1990s.
“This woman, I don’t know her, I never met her, I have no idea who she is. I had a picture taken years ago with her and her husband, a nice guy John Johnson, he was a newscaster. Very nice man. She called him an ape. Happens to be an African American, called him an ape. The judge wouldn’t allow us to put that in,” he said. (RELATED: Trump Pushes Back Against Pence’s Claims That He ‘Endangered’ His Life)
He accused the judge of the case of showing bias toward Carroll by allowing her to present more evidence and information than the former president and his legal team. He reiterated that he didn’t know Carroll and disputed that he met her at the front door of Bergdorf Goodman.
“They said she wasn’t raped, okay, that was her charge,” he said.
“They found that you sexually abused her,” former Daily Caller reporter Kaitlan Collins said.
“They said he didn’t rape her and I didn’t do anything else either, you know what? Cause I have no idea who the hell she is,” Trump said. “Can I swear on my children, which I never do, I have no idea who this woman [is], this is a fake story. Made up story. We had a horrible Clinton appointed judge, he was horrible. He allowed her to put everything in, he allowed us to put nothing in. This is a fake story.”
The former president did not testify or appear in-person during the trial. He then told Collins he does not regret his decision not to appear because it would not have made a difference.
He then addressed a 2005 video when he said women allow celebrities to grab them by “the pussy.” The former president said the statement is true, and he will not take it back because he does not “want to lie.”