Trump the Defamer

Rafia Zakaria in The Baffler:

THE DAY AFTER a Manhattan jury held Donald J. Trump liable for sexually abusing and defaming writer E. Jean Carroll nearly three decades earlier, the former president came out swinging on a CNN broadcast from St. Anselm College in New Hampshire. “She’s a whack job,” he said. “This is a fake story, a made-up story,” he insisted. The paltry bit of feminist satisfaction I and millions of other American women had felt when the verdict came down suddenly seemed transitory. How much of a victory was the verdict if the perpetrator could come out with statements like this mere hours after it was delivered?

The jury of six men and three women had awarded Carroll $5 million in damages, including almost $3 million for the reputational damage she suffered by the former president’s public statements against her. Another $2 million was awarded because the jury believed the evidence that Trump had sexually abused Carroll at an encounter at a department store in New York City. Appearing on MSNBC, Carroll called the verdict a victory for all women because “we did away with the perfect victim concept.” That imaginary perfect victim, Carroll added, “always screams” and “writes the date in her diary.”

More here.