"She's not my type."
That was President Donald Trump's dismissive response to just the latest accusation against him alleging a past sexual assault, this time from Elle advice columnist E. Jean Carroll. In a New York Magazine article published on June 21, Carroll described a terrifying encounter from the president in 1994 wherein the then-real estate magnate attacked Carroll and raped her.
Carroll escaped, she recounted, after three minutes.
I try to push him off with my one free hand — for some reason, I keep holding my purse with the other — and I finally get a knee up high enough to push him out and off and I turn, open the door, and run out of the dressing room.
Trump, asked about the assault on Monday by The Hill, denied the allegations.
"I'll say it with great respect," said Trump. "Number one, she's not my type. Number two, it never happened. It never happened, okay?"
Carroll's accusations, while serious, did not merit much coverage on the nation's weekend political shows or even The New York Times.
As HuffPost reporter Hayley Miller wrote Sunday night, "the allegation went largely undiscussed by major TV networks on Sunday morning, clearing the path for yet another sexual assault allegation against the president to slip into the void."
Miller detailed the failure of television news to handle the accusations as a major news story:
ABC, CBS, CNN, Fox and NBC―the networks that make up the "big five" of Sunday morning talk shows―boasted major political players in their lineups that included Vice President Mike Pence and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).
And yet not a single one of them was asked about Carroll's allegation that, just days earlier, had prompted front-page stories and news alerts from almost all of the major media outlets.
Reaction to the president's comments on Monday from liberals and progressives focused on what Trump's comments said—and didn't say.
"She's not my type is not 'I didn't do it,'" MSNBC analyst Zerlina Maxwell tweeted.
Daily Beast reporter Sam Stein pointed out that Trump could have denied the accusations in a number of ways that would have emphasized the president's rejection of sexual assault and mistreatment of women—but he didn't.
Among the answers Trump could have given to the Jean Carroll accusations are, “are you kidding? I would never do that.” Or “rape is abhorrent. I’m disgusted someone could think I’d do such a thing. Let alone accuse me of it."
Instead he went with, “she’s not my type"
— Sam Stein (@samstein) June 25, 2019
Actress and vocal Trump critic Zandy Hartig, meanwhile, took to Twitter to make the connection between Trump's comments and their implications more explicit.
"Defending himself by saying, 'She's not my type,' is admitting that he assaults women who ARE his type," wrote Hartig. "Like his ex-wife, for example."
In an interview with CNN's Anderson Cooper on Monday night, Carroll said that the president's response to her was par for the course.
"He's denied all 15 women who have come forward. He denies," said Carroll. "He turns it around. He threatens and he attacks."