SALT LAKE CITY — A new sexual assault allegation against President Donald Trump should be "fully evaluated," Sen. Mitt Romney said Wednesday.
The Utah Republican told CNN there needs to be an "evaluation" but that he didn't know what entity should conduct it, "whether it's Congress or whether it's another setting, I'm not sure."
"It's a very serious allegation," Romney said. "I hope that it is fully evaluated. The president said it didn't happen and I certainly hope that's the case."
Elle magazine columnist and author E. Jean Carroll claims in her new book that Trump raped her in the dressing room of a high-end clothing store more than 20 years ago.
Trump said Carroll was “lying” when she said that he threw her up against a wall and forced himself on her in late 1995 or early 1996, and he insisted that he did not know her.
“I’ll say it with great respect,” the president told The Hill, a Capitol Hill news site. “No. 1, she’s not my type. No. 2, it never happened. It never happened, OK?”
In 2016, Romney condemned Trump in the wake of the "Access Hollywood" video in which the then-GOP presidential nominee made sexual comments about women, bragged about groping them and trying to have sex with them.
“Hitting on married women? Condoning assault? Such vile degradations demean our wives and daughters and corrupt America's face to the world,” he tweeted at the time.
Romney wasn't the only Republican who said Carroll's allegation should be explored, though most GOP lawmakers CNN questioned shied away from the issue and defended Trump.
Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, said both Trump and Carroll should be questioned about the alleged assault.
"I think anybody that makes an accusation like that, they should come forward," Ernst told CNN when asked if Carroll should be believed. "But obviously there has to be some additional information. They need to interview her. They need to visit with him."