WASHINGTON (AP) – Nearly a week after the latest sexual misconduct accusation against President Donald Trump, the story has largely landed with a thud.
Some see the muted response to author E Jean Carroll’s allegation of Trump assaulting her in a department store dressing room more than two decades ago as yet another example of the divisive Politics of Trump: Those who support him dismiss it as fake news. Those against him see it as confirmation of what they knew all along.
“Essentially, you’re either for him or against him, and if you’re for him, it doesn’t matter what he’s done,” said Larry Sabato, who directs the University of Virginia’s Centre for Politics. “It really is remarkable. He simply is exempt from the rules everyone else must obey.”
It’s a cycle that’s been repeated before. After more than a dozen women came forward during Trump’s 2016 campaign with allegations of sexual misconduct years earlier, Trump called them “liars” who sought to harm his campaign with “100-per cent fabricated” stories.
In the case of Carroll, a feature writer and longtime Elle advice columnist, her accusation was revealed in an excerpt to an upcoming book, leading Trump and others to cast her aside as an opportunist.