President TrumpDonald TrumpOvernight Defense & National Security — Presented by Boeing — Milley warns of 'Sputnik moment' for China WSJ publishes letter from Trump continuing to allege voter fraud in PA Oath Keeper who was at Capitol on Jan. 6 runs for New Jersey State Assembly MORE said Monday that writer E. Jean Carroll was “totally lying” when she recently accused him of raping her during an encounter in a New York department store in the mid-1990s.
In an exclusive interview with The Hill, the president vehemently denied the allegations just hours after Carroll detailed the alleged incident during a cable news interview.
“I’ll say it with great respect: Number one, she’s not my type. Number two, it never happened. It never happened, OK?” the president said while seated behind the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office.
Carroll said on CNN that Trump “just went at it” when he allegedly cornered her in a dressing room at Bergdorf Goodman, adding that “he pulled down my tights, and it was a fight.”
She first came forward with her allegations on Friday. Trump denied the allegations in a statement that day and then again while speaking with reporters on Saturday.
When asked if Carroll was lying, Trump on Monday repeated his assertion that he had never met her.
“Totally lying. I don’t know anything about her,” he said. “I know nothing about this woman. I know nothing about her. She is — it’s just a terrible thing that people can make statements like that.”
“I love that I’m not his type,” Carroll said in an interview on CNN, responding to Trump’s comments shortly after they were published.
She pointed out that Trump has denied all the accusations from women who have accused him of sexual misconduct.
"He denies, he turns it around, he threatens and he attacks," Carroll said.
Carroll's account of the alleged incident was detailed in an excerpt of her forthcoming book published Friday afternoon in New York Magazine. The excerpt included a photo that identified Carroll, Trump, his then-wife, Ivana Trump, and Carroll's then-husband, John Johnson, attending the same party around 1987.
Trump dismissed the photo on Saturday, telling reporters, “Standing with my coat on in a line — give me a break — with my back to the camera. I have no idea who she is.”
Carroll, a longtime advice columnist for Elle magazine, alleged in her book that she ran into Trump at Bergdorf Goodman in New York City during fall 1995 or spring 1996. The two recognized each other and Trump asked her for advice on purchasing a gift for a woman, according to Carroll.
After she suggested buying a handbag or a hat, Carroll claimed that Trump turned his attention to lingerie. The two joked that the other should try the clothing on before they eventually made their way to the dressing room, she said in her account.
Once inside, Trump allegedly lunged at her, pushed her against a wall and kissed her before pulling down her tights and raping her. Carroll wrote that she fought Trump off and then ran out of the dressing room. She said the alleged incident lasted no more than three minutes.
Explaining why she didn’t come forward until now, Carroll wrote about the retribution and dismissal she expected to receive and called herself “a coward.”
She has said in interviews following the publication of her account that she does not plan to file a criminal complaint over the incident.
More than a dozen women have accused Trump of sexual misconduct since he launched his presidential campaign in 2015. The alleged incidents have spanned decades. Tape emerged in October 2016 of Trump bragging on the set of “Access Hollywood” in 2005 about groping women without their consent.
Trump has denied all allegations of sexual misconduct, and the White House has said that the women accusing him are lying.
Asked about rising tensions with Iran, Trump said he has the authority to take military action against the nation without congressional approval.
"But we’ve been keeping Congress abreast of what we’re doing ... and I think it’s something they appreciate," he said. "I do like keeping them abreast, but I don’t have to do it legally."
"We were pretty close to maybe making a decision to strike. Then I decided not to do it. Nobody went out, by the way. I was going to make that decision by a certain time, and I decided not to do it because it wasn’t really proportional," Trump added.
He also weighed in on the 2020 campaign, saying he hopes Democratic front-runner former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden to meet House Dems before Europe trip: report 21 House Democrats call for removing IRS bank reporting proposal from spending bill Overnight Health Care — Presented by Altria — Vulnerable House Dems push drug pricing plan MORE "does very well," but he thinks "there is something going on in that brain of his."
"How he doesn’t get President Obama to endorse him — there has to be some reason why he’s not endorsing him," the president said. "He was the vice president. They seem to have gotten along. And how President Obama's not endorsing him is rather a big secret," Trump mused, adding, "Then he goes and lies and said, 'I asked the president not to endorse me.' Give me a break."
—Updated at 9 p.m. Brett Samuels contributed.