President Donald Trump has released a blistering response to new allegation of sexual assault.
What's the background?
Famed columnist E. Jean Carroll claimed in a story published in New York magazine Friday that Trump assaulted her in the dressing room at the Bergdorf Goodman department store in midtown Manhattan sometime in late 1995 or early 1996.
It was a chance encounter, Carroll claims, that ended with an attack lasting approximately three minutes in which Trump allegedly penetrated her against her will.
Carroll claims she was able to fight off Trump to stop the assault. She never went to police about the alleged attack, but claimed she told two friends. She also kept the dress she wore at the time the alleged incident occurred, posing in the outfit for New York magazine.
How did Trump respond?
After the story broke Friday, the White House released a statement calling Carroll's story "completely false and unrealistic."
Later Friday evening, Trump released a personal statement categorically denying Carroll's allegations. He said he has never met Carroll, and connected the timing of her allegations to the upcoming release of her book.
Shame on those who make up false stories of assault to get publicity for themselves, or sell a book, or carry out a political agenda – like Julie Swetnick who falsely accused Justice Brett Kavanaugh. It's just as bad for people to believe it, particularly when there is zero evidence. Worse still for a dying publication to try to prop itself up by peddling fake news – it's an epidemic.
Ms. Carroll & New York Magazine: No pictures? No surveillance? No video? No reports? No sales attendants around?? I would like to thank Bergdorf Goodman for confirming they have no video footage of any such incident, because it never happened.
False accusations diminish the severity of real assault. All should condemn false accusations and any actual assault in the strongest possible terms.
The president ended his statement by implying a connection between the allegations and the Democratic Party.
"The world should know what's really going on," Trump said. "It is a disgrace and people should pay dearly for such false accusations."
According to New York magazine, Carroll is the 16th woman to accuse Trump of sexual assault.
Carroll told MSNBC that she will not press charges against Trump.