Donald Trump released a forceful statement denying allegations that he raped writer E. Jean Carroll and claiming he had never met her before, leading to some viral photos showing that Trump’s statement was untrue.
Carroll, on Friday, came forward with allegations that Trump forcefully raped her in a department store nearly 25 years ago, saying he overpowered her in a dressing room and forced her to have sex with him. Trump responded to the allegation with a forceful statement claiming that Carroll was making up the rape accusation in order to sell copies of her book. In his statement, Trump claimed that he had actually never met Carroll.
“I’ve never met this person in my life,” he wrote in the statement, posted on Twitter by CNN White House correspondent Kaitlan Collins.
But that claim was immediately disputed by many who shared a picture showing Trump together with E. Jean Carroll at a party.
Donald Trump has made similarly spurious claims about past incidents, even prompting Time magazine earlier this year to chronicle all the times that Trump had claimed he had never met someone when there was direct evidence he had met and sometimes knew them personally. After rapper Lil Jon claimed in November of 2018 that Trump called him an “Uncle Tom,” Trump responded by claiming he did not know the rapper.
“I don’t know who Lil Jon is. I don’t — I really don’t,” Trump replied.
But as the report noted, Trump very clearly and quite publicly knows Lil Jon, who was a two-time contestant on Trump’s reality television show, The Celebrity Apprentice. Trump had spoken directly about Lil Jon on a number of occasions as well, calling him a “great friend.”
There was also direct evidence on Trump’s own Twitter account that he indeed knew Lil Jon.
Thanks @LilJon for coming to my defense in Rolling Stone Magazine. As I have often said, you are a terrific guy!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 22, 2014
Donald Trump did the same after the arrest of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in London. After praising Assange and WikiLeaks repeatedly during the 2016 presidential campaign when the organization was releasing emails stolen from Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager and the Democratic National Committee, Trump reversed course after Assange’s arrest and claimed that he knew nothing about the organization.
The pictures of Donald Trump together with E. Jean Carroll led to some immediate pushback and called into question Trump’s denial of the rape. Trump continues to deny the rape allegations from E. Jean Carroll, calling it fake news and comparing it to sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.