On Friday, President Trump denied E. Jean Carroll’s allegation of rape, which was published in New York, claiming that he had “never met this person in my life,” despite a picture of the two from 1987 included in the story. On Saturday, his statement was similar: He had “no idea” who the writer was, and said the fact she “is trying to sell a new book … should indicate her motivation.”
In an interview with The Hill on Monday, the president expanded on his defense from behind the Resolute desk: “I’ll say it with great respect. Number one, she’s not my type. Number two, it never happened. It never happened, okay?”
Aside from the implication that there is a type of woman Trump would consider sexually assaulting, this is not the first time the president, who has been accused of sexual misconduct by more than 20 women, has used the “not my type” defense. In October 2016, a woman named Jessica Leeds alleged that Trump groped her on a flight in the early 1980s: “He was like an octopus,” Leeds told the New York Times. “His hands were everywhere.” Trump responded to the allegation at a rally that month in North Carolina, saying, “Believe me, she would not be my first choice, that I can tell you. That would not be my first choice.”
Also in October 2016 — the week after the release of the Access Hollywood tape in which Trump admitted to similar behavior — he was accused of forcibly kissing People journalist Natasha Stoynoff while she was reporting a story at Mar-a-Lago in 2005. His defense was simple: “Take a look at her … I don’t think so.”
Speaking with friends in private, Trump reportedly also used the “not my type” defense following the news in March 2018 that he paid Stormy Daniels $130,000 to keep quiet about their affair. “The president even has griped to several people that Daniels is not the type of woman he finds attractive,” the Washington Post reported.
Speaking to The Hill, Trump added: “It’s just a terrible thing that people can make statements like that.” In a CNN interview on Monday, E. Jean Carroll said that she had received death threats over the weekend for voicing her allegation. “I would never ask another human being to go through this,” Carroll told New Day. “I put my reputation on the line. I put my livelihood on the line … And I put my life on the line.”