US & Canada

Trump says sexual assault accuser E Jean Carroll 'not my type'

E. Jean Carroll and Donald Trump Image copyright Reuters and Getty
Image caption Ms Carroll has accused Mr Trump of sexually assaulting her in the 1990s

US President Donald Trump has again denied allegations he sexually assaulted a columnist in the 1990s, saying "she's not my type".

Mr Trump said E. Jean Carroll was "totally lying" about the alleged attack in a New York department store.

"I'll say it with great respect: Number one, she's not my type. Number two, it never happened. It never happened, OK?" Mr Trump told The Hill.

Ms Carroll, 75, made the allegations in the New York magazine last Friday.

In follow-up interviews with CNN and MSNBC, the Elle columnist said she would consider pressing charges against Mr Trump.

Ms Carroll is the 16th woman to accuse Mr Trump of sexual misconduct. Mr Trump has denied all allegations against him.

What does E. Jean Carroll allege?

She says the attack allegedly happened at a Bergdorf Goodman store in Manhattan in late 1995 or early 1996, when the pair bumped into each other while shopping.

The former Apprentice star and real estate magnate allegedly asked her for advice when buying lingerie for another woman and jokingly asked her to model it for him.

In the changing rooms, she said Mr Trump lunged at her, pinned her against a wall and forced himself on her.

Ms Carroll, whose "Ask E. Jean" advice column has appeared in Elle magazine since 1993, claims she managed to push him off after a "colossal struggle".

Mounting accusations and a muted response

At this point it's hard to keep track of the total number of women who have come forward to accuse Donald Trump of sexual improprieties ranging from unwanted touching to assault

The response from the president, however, is easy to remember because it's almost always the same: The women are lying. He doesn't recall ever meeting them. They're in it for the money and attention. Or, as in this case, they're not his "type".

As the allegations mount, these defences become more difficult to make - complicated further by the Access Hollywood recording of Mr Trump boasting about kissing and groping women without their consent.

Of course, Mr Trump won the presidency after many of these women had already come forward and the Access Hollywood tape was public. Stories about Mr Trump's past behaviour are, as the old political saying goes, "baked into the cake".

Without conclusive evidence of the alleged assault, E Jean Carroll's account is unlikely to change the political dynamic heading into the next election. Those who dislike the president will vote against him. Those who support him - or tolerate him because of his conservative policies - will stick by him.

How did Mr Trump respond?

Speaking to The Hill from the White House on Monday, Mr Trump staunchly dismissed the allegations due to appear in Ms Carroll's forthcoming book, What Do We Need Men For? A Modest Proposal.

He denied even knowing Ms Carroll despite being pictured with her in New York magazine alongside details of her allegations.

"She is — it's just a terrible thing that people can make statements like that," he said.

It is his third denial since Ms Carroll went public, with Mr Trump previously accusing her of "trying to sell a new book" and "peddling fake news".

In response to Mr Trump's latest denial and "not my type" comment, Ms Carroll told CNN: "I love that I'm not his type."

In 2016, Mr Trump made similar remarks about another accuser, Jessica Leeds, who alleges he groped her on an aeroplane in the 1980s.

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Media captionJessica Leeds is calling on Congress to open an inquiry into President Trump

Addressing crowds at a rally, Mr Trump said "she would not be my first choice".

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