E. Jean Carroll, the former magazine columnist to whom a jury awarded $83.3 million in damages last week as part of a defamation trial against Donald Trump, said on CNN Monday that the court proceedings were little more than a “campaign stop” for the former president.
“The courtroom was not a courtroom to him, it was a campaign stop. That was clear,” Carroll said on “CNN This Morning.”
“He’s using me to win voters. Sexual assault. A man found liable for sexual assault is using the woman he sexually assaulted to get votes.”
Carroll has alleged Trump raped her in a department store in the mid-1990s and then defamed her when he denied her claim. A Manhattan federal jury last year found Trump liable for sexual abuse. Trump has denied the allegations.
Despite being terrified in the days leading up to the trial, E. Jean Carroll said when she saw the former president for the first time since the assault, “he was nothing.”
“He was just — no power. He was zero,” Carroll told CNN’s Poppy Harlow and Phil Mattingly.
“He’s an emperor without clothes. It’s like looking at nothing,” continued Carroll, who said she made eye contact with Trump “many times.”
Regarding the enormous sum of money awarded to her, Carroll said, “We’re inspired to not waste a penny of this, and we have some good ideas that we’re working on.”
“One of the things we could do — seeing as how he’s very instrumental in taking away women’s rights over their bodies across the United States — maybe we could think about how we can restore women their rights,” she added.
In a post on Truth Social Friday afternoon, Trump called the verdict “absolutely ridiculous” and vowed to appeal.
Friday’s verdict comes ahead of a judge’s expected decision soon in Trump’s civil fraud trial that could threaten the former president’s business empire, along with the four criminal indictments that are awaiting trial and a US Supreme Court hearing on whether the front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination can appear on the ballot.
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