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On Tuesday, late-night hosts covered the latest woman to come forward with claims of inappropriate conduct against Donald Trump: the writer E. Jean Carroll, who detailed an alleged rape in Bergdorf Goodman in a cover story for New York magazine.
In the story, a June 21 excerpt from the author’s book What Do We Need Men For?: A Modest Proposal, the author claimed that after a chance encounter with the now-president in Bergdorf Goodman, he raped her in one of the department store’s dressing rooms. “The moment the dressing-room door is closed, he lunges at me, pushes me against the wall, hitting my head quite badly, and puts his mouth against my lips. I am so shocked I shove him back and start laughing again,” Carroll wrote. “He seizes both my arms and pushes me up against the wall a second time, and, as I become aware of how large he is, he holds me against the wall with his shoulder and jams his hand under my coat dress and pulls down my tights.”
The White House and Trump have denied the veracity of Carroll’s claims, with Trump saying, “I’ve never met this person in my life. She is trying to sell a new book — that should indicate her motivation. It should be sold in the fiction section.”
On The Late Show, host Stephen Colbert noted that in one interview, Trump defended himself in part by saying Carroll was not “my type” and subsequently that the assault “never happened.”
“So it didn’t happen because she’s not his type? That is the sound of a man realizing mid-sentence that he’s not talking to Billy Bush,” Colbert joked, referring to the now-infamous Access Hollywood video clip from 2005 that showed Trump speaking crassly with Bush about women.
The CBS host also argued that Carroll’s claims were covered without fanfare in mainstream publications, including in the New York Times books section — “which is smart, they knew it was where the president would never look,” Colbert joked. As for the story’s appearance and then disappearance from the website of the New York Post, whose former editor-in-chief is a Trump supporter, Colbert crafted a fake Post headline for the story: “Donald Propagand-Don: Post Plays Defense for Sex Crime.”
Over on Comedy Central, Daily Show host Trevor Noah noted that Carroll was the 22nd woman to step forward with claims of sexual misconduct against Donald Trump. “That’s almost one accusation for each Democrat running,” he said. Of Trump’s “not my type” defense, Noah replied, “If your denial leaves people thinking there is a type of woman you would rape, that’s not a good denial.”
Noah added, with more levity, “There should be no denial, there should just be, number one, I didn’t do it, and that’s it. It’s like rules for using a bathroom at a party; only number one, no number twos, you don’t add anything else.”
— The Daily Show (@TheDailyShow) June 26, 2019
NBC’s Seth Meyers devoted his recurring “Hey!” segment to the story, also taking issue with Trump’s response. “If someone asks you, ‘Did you rape that woman?’ and you say, ‘No, she’s not my type,’ that’s not a defense, that’s a confession.” He added, “It’s like if you asked Hannibal Lecter, ‘Did you eat that guy?’ and he said, ‘No, he looked a little bony.'”
Meyers also noted that though Trump said he had “never met” Carroll in his life, the New York magazine excerpt of Carroll’s book contained a picture of Carroll with Trump. “So you lied, you did meet her. The problem is, if you did show this picture to Trump, he wouldn’t change his mind because he’s such an egomaniac that when he looks at a picture he’s in, it’s a Being John Malkovich situation,” Meyers joked, as he showed the same picture in the story, but with all the heads replaced by Trump’s.
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