Writer E. Jean insults Carolfor battery and defamation in a civil suit stemming from the alleged rape of Carroll in a department store dressing room in the mid-1990s.
The jury did not find Trump liable for rape but found that he sexually assaulted Carol and then defamed her when she came forward years ago. Carroll was awarded a total of $5 million in damages. After the verdict, Trump claimed that he did not know Carroll and that he had remained “reticent” to speak publicly about the case, despite the court giving him multiple opportunities to speak at trial and his refusal to do so.
On Wednesday night in Manchester, New Hampshire, Trump defied the jury’s verdict in the civil case and called Carroll a “hack job,” elaborating on language similar to the language that led to her defamation verdict in the first place. Trump called Carroll’s story “fake” and “fabricated” even though a jury unanimously and quickly reached a verdict. Trump was asked what he was saying to voters who say the ruling disqualifies him from the presidency.
“Well there’s not a lot of them because my poll numbers just came out — they’re up,” Trump said to cheers from some in the audience. According to CNN, the audience was made up of Republicans and undecided voters. Multiple voters who questioned Trump voted for him in 2020.
It’s unclear which poll Trump is referring to as no major polls have been taken and released in the barely 24 hours since the ruling.
Trump called the trial a “rigged deal.” She also mocked Carroll’s allegations that Trump sexually assaulted her in a department store and swore on her children’s lives that she didn’t assault Carroll.
“She wasn’t raped, OK? … And I didn’t do anything else, OK, because I don’t know who she is,” Trump said to laughter from the audience.
CBS News has reached out to Carroll’s lawyer for comment. “I brought this case against Donald Trump to clear my name and get my life back. Today, the world finally knows the truth. This victory is not just for me, it’s for us,” Carroll said in a statement after the verdict was read Tuesday. Every woman who suffered because she was not believed.”
Kimberly Rice, a Republican and former speaker of the New Hampshire House of Representatives, told CBS News’ Robert Costa on Wednesday that she hopes everyone takes the ruling seriously.
“I’ve been in a position before where a boss chased me around. And, you know, women should be trusted,” she said. “The jury saw the evidence. … Just because you’re a celebrity doesn’t give you the right to sexually assault someone.”
Rice, however, cast doubt on the ruling’s impact on Trump’s stronghold of the Republican base.
“His followers are very devout, you know, and it’s up to them. I don’t speak, you know, for everybody or pretend. I just know how I feel in my heart,” he said.
January 6 Trump
In another matter, Trump said in a town hall Wednesday night that he was “glad” to pardon his supporters who have been convicted of various charges for their roles.and attempts to alter election results.
“I’m interested in pardoning a lot of them,” Trump said. “I can’t speak for everyone because some of them, maybe, they got out of control.”
Trump said it would be a “large portion” of convicted rioters, whom he called “great people,” that he would pardon, adding that accused rioters in prison were “living in hell.”
Asked if he had any regrets about that day, Trump emphasized the crowd that day and said his supporters showed up in D.C. “with love in their hearts.”
The former president also called Ashley Babbitt, the Trump supporter who was shot dead by Capitol police and has since been martyred by the far right, a “patriot” and the police officer who fatally shot her “a thug.”
Trump was also asked if heAn apology is warranted for the actions of the rioters on January 6, who threatened to hang Mike Pence if an attack on the Capitol occurred. Trump declined to make an offer “because he did something wrong.”
“He should have sent the votes back to the state legislatures and I think we would have had a different result,” Trump said.
On several occasions, Trump has claimed, without evidence, that the 2020 election was “rigged” in favor of President Joe Biden. One voter asked Trump if he would “suspend the polarizing discussion of election fraud” during the presidential race.
Trump condemned. “Yes – unless I see election fraud,” he replied.
CNN anchor Caitlin Collins, who conducted the town hall, noted that the former president and his party have lost more than 60 lawsuits alleging fraud in the 2020 election.
Trump also quipped about whether he wants to conquer Ukraine as Russia continues to attack the sovereign state.
Asked whether he wants to win the Ukraine war, Trump said, “I don’t think in terms of winning or losing.” When pressed again if he wanted Ukraine or Russia to win the war, Trump said, “I want everybody to stop dying. They are dying, the Russians and the Ukrainians.”