On Monday morning’s airing of CNN’s New Day, host Alisyn Camerota spoke with President Trump’s latest sexual assault accuser, author E. Jean Carroll. Carroll, who was on the show to promote her new book, detailed the account to Camerota.
Camerota pushed Carroll to implicate Trump many times, and repeatedly led Carroll down a narrative that she wanted told. She even went as far as to suggest Trump may have committed rape:
Here's the situation. I understand that you don't want this to define you, of course. Who would? But I'm saying legally it was rape. It's unambiguous. What you describe in the book, it was rape. And that actually goes further than the 15 women who came forward during the campaign who say -- they described situations very similar to what you experienced. Him getting them into a room, him pinning them against a wall, him forcing a kiss on them. But yours actually goes further in terms of being legally raped. That's what it was. And so when you heard Donald Trump in the infamous "Access Hollywood" tape foreshadow this or at least explain himself to Billy Bush. Let me just remind people. Listen to this.
The interview was reminiscent of the firestorm Justice Brett Kavanaugh received when the media launched a barrage of unsubstantiated claims against him in his youth, or how the press treated Justice Clarence Thomas during the Anita Hill hearings. The left has a long history of using sexual assault claims as a club to beat conservatives with.
Should sexual assaulters be robustly condemned? Of course, but they need to be proven guilty in a court of law before angry mobs form to declare them guilty in the court of public opinion. Camerota’s job is to portray a story to her audience objectively. When she actively tries to push the story in a direction she wants it to go, she casts guilt where there may or may not be any.
Here’s the complete transcript:
CNN New Day
ALISYN CAMEROTA: At least 15 women have accused President Trump of sexual misconduct or assault before his time in office. President Trump has vigorously denied all of those allegations. Well, now the author E. Jean Carroll goes further. She says Trump raped her in a Bergdof Goodman dressing room in 1995 or early ‘96. E. Jean writes about this in her forthcoming book "What Do We Need Men For: A Modest Proposal." She joins me know. E. Jean, great to see you.
E. JEAN CARROLL: Thank you, Alisyn.
CAMEROTA: Let's describe what happened 23 years ago, okay? So in the book, you describe this encounter with Donald Trump. You recognized him. He recognized you, of course. This is in late '95 or '96. He enlisted you to help buy a present for his girlfriend, though he was married at the time.
CARROLL: He didn't say girlfriend. It was -- she was a mystery woman.
CAMEROTA: He said for --
CARROLL: A girl.
CAMEROTA: Needed help buying something for a girl. And it was all fairly playful.
CARROLL: Oh, it was charming. Remember what Donald Trump was like in '95 and '96? He was like a Shakespearean character. Walking up and down the street, always had a word for everybody. You remember, Alisyn. Greeted everybody.
CAMEROTA: I remember well. He was charming, absolutely. So this was all fun and games.
CARROLL: I loved it.
CAMEROTA: Pointing out different gifts he could buy.
CARROLL: Hats, handbags.
CAMEROTA: Exactly. At some point he suggests lingerie and he sort of leads --
CARROLL: Well, he didn't suggest it. He shouted it. Lingerie! But he could have said underwear. I can't remember. But I got the idea.
CAMEROTA: And so, you are playing along. At some point he gets you into a dressing room.
CARROLL: That's the key here.
CAMEROTA: Yeah, tell me.
CARROLL: When we walked into the lingerie department, there was nobody there. Which is strange. It was in the evening. And on the counter were three really fancy boxes and a see through body suit. He walked right to the body suit and snatched it up and said go put this on. Now, that struck me as so funny because here I am at 52. I’m not going to be -- My idea was no, you put it on. He said no it looks like it fits I said no, it goes with your eyes. So I am spinning a comedy scene in my head.
CAMEROTA: Yeah, of course, banter, back and forth, I get it.
CARROLL: You see how funny that would be to make him put that on.
CAMEROTA: And you, by the way, used to be a comedy writer on "Saturday Night Live." You were engaging in this banter as many of us would because you didn't know what violence was about to unfold and you could never have known that and of course
CARROLL: How would I know that? Although, I thought I was pretty stupid
CAMEROTA: Well, I mean, I understand that afterwards in retrospect, you blame yourself. Many women in this situation do. However, you go into the dressing room, you think that he's going to hold it up against him. And then it gets violent.
CARROLL: Well, the minute -- he went like this. I proceeded him into the dressing room. The minute he closed that door, I was banged up against the wall.
CAMEROTA: He slammed you against the wall
CARROLL: Yeah. Hit my head really hard. Boom.
CAMEROTA: You point out that he's a tall, big person.
CAMEROTA: And he pinned you in some way.
CARROLL: Well, I’m a tall person too. I was 6'1" in my heels and I was a competitive athlete. So you know, when somebody shows you -- the thing is, it shocked me. For a moment, I was stunned, right? And then he tried to kiss me which was -- it was so horrible. So my reaction was to laugh. To knock off the erotic whatever he had going on. Because a man when you laugh at him, he's like -- no. He just went at it.
CAMEROTA: And when you say went at it, you know --
CARROLL: He pulled down my tights. And it was a fight. I want women to know that I did not stand there. I did not freeze. I was not paralyzed which is a reaction that I could have had. Because it's so shocking. No, I fought. And it was over very quickly. It was against my will. 100%. And I ran away out.
CAMEROTA: And he pinned you, just without getting overly graphic. He pinned you against the wall.
CARROLL: Yeah. He had his shoulder against me.
CAMEROTA: He had his shoulder against you.
CARROLL: And he is -- you're right. He's big. You made that point.
CAMEROTA: He's much bigger than you are. Not just tall. I mean in terms of -- his massiveness. And so he pinned you against the wall. He ripped off your tights.
CARROLL: Not all the way off, just down.
CAMEROTA: Down. He pulled down his pants.
CARROLL: No. Just unzipped.
CAMEROTA: He just unzipped. And this is beyond sexual -- legally, he raped you.
CARROLL: I don't use the word. I have difficulty with the word.
CAMEROTA: Because you think that --
CARROLL: I think it was a fight. You know?
CAMEROTA: I understand. But you see it as a fight and you don't want to be seen as a victim and I totally get that.
CARROLL: Don't want to be seen as a victim because I quickly went past it. It was a very, very brief episode of my life. Very brief. I am not faced with sexual violence every single day like many women around the world. And so, yes, I'm very careful with that word.
CAMEROTA: I understand.
CARROLL: You will use it.
CAMEROTA: Here's the situation. I understand that you don't want this to define you, of course. Who would? But I'm saying legally it was rape. It's unambiguous. What you describe in the book, it was rape. And that actually goes further than the 15 women who came forward during the campaign who say -- they described situations very similar to what you experienced. Him getting them into a room, him pinning them against a wall, him forcing a kiss on them. But yours actually goes further in terms of being legally raped. That's what it was. And so when you heard Donald Trump in the infamous "Access Hollywood" tape foreshadow this or at least explain himself to Billy Bush. Let me just remind people. Listen to this.
DONALD TRUMP: I got to use some Tic Tacs just in case I start kissing her. You know, I'm automatically attracted to beautiful. I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you're a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.
BILLY BUSH: Anything you want
TRUMP: Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything.
CAMEROTA: What did you think when you heard that?
CARROLL: It knocked me back. I felt relief and that's right. That's right.
CAMEROTA: You felt relief that that was confirmation, basically, you felt. So as you know, since you came forward, the President has denied all of this. Let me read to you his statement. He says on Friday I've never met this person in my life. She's trying to sell a new book. That should indicate her motivation. It should be held in the fiction section. No pictures, no surveillance, no video, no reports, no sales attendants around. I would like to thank Berdorf Goodman for confirming they have no video footage of any such incident because it never happened. Your response?
CARROLL: Well, what's the title of this book? What Do We Need Men For. Does it say Donald Trump attacked me? I never mention Donald Trump in the description of the book, on Amazon, you don't see it. It was not about selling a book about Donald Trump. By the way, men never get -- male authors never get this question.
CAMEROTA: About are you just trying to sell books?
CARROLL: Yes, of course.
CAMEROTA: But beyond the book selling part, he denied that it happened. He also denies he met you although there is a picture of you two having met. I think that what he has said was that was in passing at a party. But here’s the picture of you two. That was your ex-husband. So, there's photographic evidence of you having met Donald Trump.
CAMEROTA: But he is denying that.
CARROLL: Well, that is his -- with all the 15 women or 16 who have come forward, it's the same. He denies it. He turns it around. He attacks and he threatens. That is his -- and then everybody forgets it and then the next woman comes along and I am sick of it. Alisyn, I am sick of it. Think how many women have come forward. Nothing happens. The only thing we can do is sit with you and tell our stories so that we empower other women to come forward and tell their stories because we have to change this culture of sexual violence.
CAMEROTA: I do want to ask you why you didn't come forward in 2016 during the campaign, but hold that thought. We have much more of our conversation with E. Jean Carroll next.