Last week, a story broke in New York Magazine (which was actually an excerpt from an upcoming book) claiming that President Donald Trump committed rape in a dressing room back in the mid-90s. The author of that book and writer of the article is E. Jean Carroll. She’s also the accuser in this case.
You can read the details of the original claim here.
Given that this is a claim of rape (or something approaching it), initial reactions were that it should be taken seriously. I agree. You can’t just dismiss someone out of hand because they hold different partisan viewpoints, of which Jean Carroll certainly does if you are on the right.
Judgment of credibility comes over time, just as it did with Christine Ford during the Kavanaugh ordeal, and I think we have enough information now for people to begin making up their own minds.
Here’s a compilation of some of the things she’s said in several interviews over the last few days as well as some refusals she’s made to try to substantiate her story.
When asked if she’ll press charges…
E. Jean Carroll tells @Lawrence that she will not seek rape charges against Donald Trump because it would be "disrespectful" to women at the boarder "who are being raped around the clock" pic.twitter.com/TG13a3k95W
— Jon Levine (@LevineJonathan) June 22, 2019
Aside from the general oddity, that answer places current politics on the forefront of her mind, something you wouldn’t expect from someone in the middle of recounting their own rape.
When asked what she wishes she’d said to Trump at the time, this was her response.
E. Jean Carroll says she wishes she would have asked @realDonaldTrump for his TAX RETURNS when she allegedly met him at the Bergdorf Goodman department store in the mid 90's .
— Stephanie Hamill (@STEPHMHAMILL) June 22, 2019
Again, we see partisan politics at the forefront of her mind.
After claiming she still has the unlaundered dress, she was asked if she’d get it tested.
They ask her twice if she’s willing to have the dress checked for Trump’s DNA and the NYPD has offered to check it. She refuses.
If you don’t find that fishy then I can’t help you.
— The Dank Knight 🦇 (@capeandcowell) June 24, 2019
She claims she wanted Donald Trump to try on lingerie over his pants.
E. Jean Carroll tells MSNBC she and Trump were at Bergdorf Goodman, looking at a 'beautiful, filmy gray, see-through' item of lingerie. They went to a dressing room. Why? 'I have the idea that I'm going to make him put it on over his pants.'
— Byron York (@ByronYork) June 22, 2019
In her latest interview, she described rape as something people feel is sexy.
“ I think most people think of rape as being sexy…” – E. Jean Carroll to Anderson Cooper
Cooper immediately cut to breakpic.twitter.com/OwN2QLFc6q
— John Cardillo (@johncardillo) June 25, 2019
That exchange had CNN running to commercial.
No comment on this next one…
E. Jean Carroll on alleged Trump sexual assault in the 90s: "I do not know if the president ejaculated. I have no idea." pic.twitter.com/7FRmGJHQtM
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) June 24, 2019
Even in settings such as the one with CNN’s Alyson Camerota, where the host was clearly coaching and guiding her to say certain things, Jean Carroll’s statements are all over the place and just strange. See The Daily Wire for more quotes from that specific interview.
Jean Carroll has also joked about rape in the past.
@Marilynajohnson You have not LIVED until you've sat by your mother watching the the Anal Rape Scenes in Girl With The Dragon Tattoo!
— E. Jean Carroll (@ejeancarroll) December 30, 2011
Other oddities about this story include that no major outlets covered it early on. Coverage is only starting to trickle in now but they are framed as reaction pieces, “Why aren’t more people paying attention to this?” type writings while not dealing with the actual accusations much at all. What does that say about the corroboration available?
On the topic of motivation, as mentioned earlier, this is all being rolled out as part of a book she’s selling where she claims to have been raped by 6 different powerful men, all at different times in unrelated settings. How did this story about Trump not come out during 2016?
Finally, while Jean Carroll claims to have told two people who can “contemporaneously corroborate” her claims, both remain completely anonymous and she won’t ask them to come forward to back her up.
I’ve purposely chosen to go light on the editorializing in this piece.
Decide for yourself.
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