President Donald Trump has at this point been accused of sexual misconduct by a wide range of women — including writer E. Jean Carroll, who just recently for the first time publicly shared her story of Trump raping her in a New York dressing room in the 1990s. Now, The New York Times has shared the names of and an interview with two women who as Carroll’s friends at the time of the initial attack, the writer described the incident to. Carroll had previously cited having told people close to her what happened but their personally identifying information wasn’t out yet.
The women include writer Lisa Birnbach and former news anchor Carol Martin, who worked at WCBS-TV in New York for twenty years ending in 1995, both of whom were personally familiar with Trump in some capacity back then. They sat down with a reporter from The Times alongside Carroll and together discussed the incident for the apparent first time since it took place in the 1990s.
The two women had markedly different reactions to Carroll describing the attack to them. Birnbach says that when discussing the incident right after it took place, she tried to get Carroll to report the attack to the police insisting that what she described was rape, but she ultimately never did so, in part explaining that she blamed herself for what happened. Martin backed up the position of not telling the police, having admonished Carroll to protect herself against the potential repercussions of making such an allegation against a public figure like Trump when speaking with the writer a few days following the initial violent encounter.
Trump has unsurprisingly vehemently denied the allegation, making the utterly atrocious defense that she’s “not my type” at one point in place of even trying to address the actual substance of the accusation at hand. If we go with just that comment, the president of the United States would be prone to rape someone who was “his type.” Is that what we’re supposed to take from this? He used a similar “defense” previously during the 2016 presidential campaign season when faced with initial rounds of women bringing their stories forward of suffering sexual misconduct at his hands.
Despite his denials, there’s a tape available for anyone to listen to of Trump bragging about his supposed freedom to commit sexual assault while on the set of Access Hollywood in the early 2000s. Even with this tape, his base has stuck with him, including the throngs of conservative Christianity who supposedly stand against this kind of thing and in support of morals or whatever.
The issue of Donald Trump’s personal behavior came up briefly during the first night of the Democratic presidential primary debates held this week in Florida, when the question was posed of what a Democratic presidential administration would do after Trump is out of office in the face of the apparent crimes he has committed. The consensus from the stage was that no one was above the law and he would therefore be held accountable in line with the evidence and due process.
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