US President Donald Trump speaks.- AFP
The response reeks of the same deflect-and-deny tactic that Trump has been accused of deploying in the past.
An allegation of sexual assault against anyone - least of all against the president of the United States of America - is as serious as it can get, and deserves to be responded as such by the defendant. In a normal world, the person against whom such accusations were levelled would go all out to defend their integrity and highlight their righteousness. Clearly, that isn't something that Donald Trump believes in, for he chose to respond to such a grave accusation with a frivolous 'she's not my type' retort, which leaves one perplexed and wondering if his defence mechanism is broken.
To be fair to POTUS, advice columnist E. Jean Carroll's accusations, surfacing as they did almost a quarter of a century after the alleged encounter - and under two weeks before her new book is scheduled to go on sale on Amazon - seem tentative. "I was not thrown on the ground and ravaged," Carroll has said in a subsequent interview with CNN, and has maintained that "I am not the victim". In fact, at least initially, the story was largely downplayed by the mainstream media. The New York Times - usually a vehement critic of Trump and his policies - initially did not take the story on its print front page or the digital homepage (it did, three days after the news first broke).
Whether NYT found enough merit in the story a few days later is up for debate, but Trump's response yesterday was literally breaking the Internet. In an interview with The Hill, Trump said: "I'll say it with great respect: Number one, she's not my type. Number two, it never happened. It never happened, OK?" The response not only reeks of the same deflect-and-deny tactic that Trump has been accused of deploying in the past (there have been a handful, unproven accusations of sexual misconduct against Trump), but also highlights his apathy to such complaints and trivialises a global curse of crime against women. Carrol's response to Trump's retort sums it up nicely: "I love that I'm not his type."