Since E. Jean Carroll came forward with her story of how Donald Trump raped her, the president’s denials have taken several forms. His first response was to deny knowing her, even though there is a picture of the two of them and their former spouses together at an event. Trump has also claimed that Carroll is simply lying to pump up sales of her book. But he added a claim during an interview with The Hill that ranks as one of the most disgusting things he has uttered since being elected president.
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.
This isn’t the first time Trump has denied allegations of sexual assault because, he claims, the woman wasn’t his type.
“Believe me, she would not be my first choice, that I can tell you,” Trump told supporters at a campaign event in 2016 after a woman accused him of putting his hand up her skirt while on an airplane. “You don’t know. That would not be my first choice.” As the crowd laughed, he said, “Check out her Facebook, you’ll understand.”
As repulsive as it is to do, it is important to examine what it says about Trump that this is where his mind goes when these kinds of allegations surface.
The most obvious inference is that allegations of sexual assault would be credible if the woman making the claim was his type. That is essentially what he said in the Access Hollywood tape.
You know, I’m automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab ’em by the pussy. You can do anything.
It is no great revelation that a heterosexual man is automatically attracted to a woman he thinks is beautiful. So that’s not news coming from Trump. What he is saying is that he doesn’t censor himself, but immediately assaults them—assuming they will let him do it because he’s a star. That is the mindset behind his denial of these allegations: he only assaults women he thinks are beautiful. If he just lies, and says that they’re not his type, that proves his innocence.
In an unguarded moment with Billy Bush, Trump also demonstrated that he considers these assaults to be something that gives him credibility with other men. Conquering beautiful women is something to brag about. That is why Franklin Foer wrote that the president’s core ideology is misogyny (emphasis mine).
Trump wants us to know all about his sex life. He doesn’t regard sex as a private activity. It’s something he broadcasts to demonstrate his dominance, of both women and men. In his view, treating women like meat is a necessary precondition for winning, and winning is all that matters in his world. By winning, Trump means asserting superiority. And since life is a zero-sum game, superiority can only be achieved at someone else’s expense.
The most disgusting and painful part of this is that we knew all of it before Trump was elected. His base of supporters—including the court evangelicals and their followers—not only don’t care, they revel in it and claim that he has been anointed by God.