Donald Trump took a break while golfing in Ireland on Thursday to complain to reporters that he, a “famous rich and political person that’s leading the polls by 40 points,” has to deal with a rape trial.
While the former president has spent the last several days hitting the links in Scotland and Ireland, back home in Manhattan a jury is weighing evidence against Trump in a civil rape trial brought by author E. Jean Carroll. On Wednesday, Trump’s lawyers informed U.S. District Court Judge Lewis Kaplan that Trump would not be appearing as a witness on his own behalf, or presenting a defense at all.
Despite giving an official notice to the judge, Trump claimed to reporters that he will return to the U.S. early to give Carroll a piece of his mind. “I have to leave Scotland, I have to leave Ireland, where I have great property. I don’t have to but I chose to [leave early],” the former president whined to reporters.
Trump added that he would “probably” attend the trial. “It’s a disgrace that it’s allowed to happen,” he ranted. “False accusations against a rich guy, or in my case against a famous, rich and political person that’s leading the polls by 40 points, and I have to go back for a woman who made a false accusation about me.”
“I’m going to go back, and I’m going to confront her because look, this woman is a disgrace and it shouldn’t be allowed to happen in our country,” he continued. It’s totally false, it was fake, she’s a fake. She wrote in her book she’s a Democrat.”
Trump’s lawyer, Joe Tacopina, replied “no” when asked if Trump would “confront” Carroll according to the New York Daily News.
Trump’s previous outbursts on social media regarding the trial have already earned him a reprimand from Judge Kaplan, who called the former president’s behavior “entirely inappropriate” and warned that he could open himself up to “a new source of potential liability.”
The words of caution have clearly not fazed Trump, who said Kaplan was “a judge who’s extremely hostile” towards him. “We have a rough judge, we have a judge who doesn’t like much,” he told reporters.
Carroll in 2019 accused Trump of raping her in the dressing room of a New York department store in the ‘90s. Carroll filed a defamation suit regarding statements Trump made about her in the aftermath of her accusation. The suit was later upgraded to include a charge of battery under New York’s new Adult Survivors Act. The act, approved in the aftermath of the #MeToo movement, allows survivors of sexual assault to bring civil cases against their accused assailants even if the criminal statute of limitations has expired.
On Thursday, the jury heard Trump’s testimony through a videotaped deposition that was played before the court. Throughout questioning, a combative and often agitated Trump sparred with lawyers. At one point the former president defended statements he made bragging about sexually assaulting women in the infamous Access Hollywood tape. “Well, historically that’s true with stars,” Trump said regarding his grab-them-by-the-pussy comment. “If you look over the last million years that’s been largely true, not always true, but largely true — unfortunately or fortunately.”
At one point, Carroll’s lawyers questioned Trump about his assertion that he could not have raped Carroll because she was not his “type.” The question angered Trump, who told the attorney that she “wouldn’t be a choice of mine either, to be honest … I wouldn’t in any circumstances have any interest in you.”
Carroll’s attorneys are expected to rest their case Thursday afternoon, and a verdict is expected sometime next week. That timeline could be delayed, however, if Trump does in fact return from his international wanderings to make an in-court appearance.