Advice columnist E. Jean Carroll appeared on CNN Monday morning to discuss her rape allegations against President Donald Trump, and things got weird.
Asked by “New Day” host Alisyn Camerota what she wanted to say to Trump, Carroll, 75, exclaimed: “That terrifies me that you said that!”
She then struggled to express a coherent thought, repeatedly taking long pauses and stammering.
“Look at me, I can hardly talk now that you said that,” Carroll admitted.
Carroll, who writes the “Ask E. Jean” column for Elle magazine, went on to express shock at the scrutiny she has faced since appearing on the cover of New York magazine Friday. Inside the magazine, she accused Trump of sexually assaulting her in a dressing room of a Manhattan department store 23 years ago.
Carroll at first told Camerota that she was prepared to tell her story despite the challenges, saying: “It’s the only way to change things.”
“Men have run things, as you know, for the past 20,000 years. I’m sick of it,” she said. “It’s just time that women get to run things.”
But asked what advice she would give other women, Carroll said she might no longer tell them to “stand up and speak out.”
“It’s not fun,” she said. “You get dragged through the mucky.”
“I do not know if the president ejaculated”
Later in the interview, Camerota wondered whether Trump’s “DNA” might still be present on the dress Carroll said she wore during the alleged assault and again for the first time for her New York magazine cover shoot.
“I have no idea,” Carroll responded. “I do not know if the president ejaculated. I have no idea.”
When the host mentioned New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s promise Saturday to have the NYPD pursue a case against the president at Carroll’s request, the columnist was non-committal. She unenthusiastically said that she would “consider” taking legal action.
Regarding why she hadn’t come forward earlier, along with the some 20 other women who have accused Trump of sexual misconduct, Carroll said that an “army of women” were already “doing the job.”
The president has categorically denied all the women’s claims. He said over the weekend that he has no recollection of even meeting Carroll, though a photo of them along with their then-spouses ran alongside her article.
Twitter is not impressed
Conservative Twitter users were ruthless in response to the CNN interview. A number of commenters said that Carroll appeared mentally unstable or to be drunk or on drugs.
Clearly, two boxes of wine in before she went on air.
— LSU (@Geaux_Tygers) June 24, 2019
One user characterized Carroll’s performance as “super cringe.”
Another commented: “Medicated much. Who the hell spoke to this woman and thought it would be a good interview. Train wreck!”
She seems mentally unstable to me.
— Liz (@barrabarian) June 24, 2019
The conservative take on E. Jean Carroll
Conservatives commentators – wary of sexual assault accusations after the political circus surrounding Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation last year – were already writing off Carroll based on her appearance Friday on MSNBC’s “The Last Word With Lawrence O’Donnell.”
During that interview, she said that pursuing charges against Trump would be an affront to migrant women being raped on the U.S.-Mexico border.
“I would find it disrespectful to the women who are down on the border who are being raped around the clock down there without any protection,” Carroll said. “The women have very little protection there. It would just be disrespectful.”