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As Donald Trump returns to court over defamation, Mitt Romney weighs in

Romney also made comments about E. Jean Carroll’s ongoing defamation lawsuit against Trump

SHARE As Donald Trump returns to court over defamation, Mitt Romney weighs in
E. Jean Carroll arrives at Manhattan federal court, Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2024, in New York.

E. Jean Carroll arrives at Manhattan federal court on Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2024, in New York. Less than a year after convincing a jury that former President Donald Trump sexually abused her decades ago, Carroll is set to take the stand again to describe how his verbal attacks affected her after she came forward.

Eduardo Munoz Alvarez, Associated Press

Utah Sen. Mitt Romney responded Wednesday to questions about former President Donald Trump’s recent win in Iowa, and brought up the defamation lawsuit against Trump.

When CNN’s Manu Raju asked Romney about Trump’s landslide victory in the Iowa caucuses, Romney said he thinks, “a lot of people in this country are out of touch with reality and will accept anything Donald Trump tells them,” according to a post published on X by Raju.

The Utah senator brought up writer E. Jean Carroll's lawsuit against Trump. Carroll, previously an advice columnist for Elle magazine, alleges that Trump sexually assaulted her years ago in a dressing room at the Bergdorf Goodman department store in New York City. Trump was found liable for sexual assault and defamation in the case.

“You had a jury that said that Donald Trump raped a woman. And that doesn’t seem to be moving the needle. There’s a lot of things about today’s electorate that I have a hard time understanding,” Romney said.

Last May, Carroll was awarded approximately $2 million in damages for the assault and around $3 million for defamation regarding one of Trump’s posts on Truth Social, where he reiterated his claims that her allegations were false and a hoax, according to The New York Times.

A second trial is now taking place focused on additional comments by Trump about Carroll. Carroll is pursuing $10 million in compensatory damages in the latest civil trial, with additional punitive damages to be set by a jury.

In a separate social media post, HuffPost reporter Igor Bobic said, “Romney says it’s Trump party and that if election was held today, Trump would win.”

Trump in the courtroom Wednesday

In court on Wednesday, Judge Lewis A. Kaplan warned Trump that he would be expelled from the courtroom if he did not stop being disruptive during Carroll’s testimony. “Mr. Trump, I hope I don’t have to consider excluding you from the trial. I understand you’re probably eager for me to do that,” Kaplan said per The Associated Press.

To which Trump replied, “I would love it.”

“I know you would like it. You just can’t control yourself in this circumstance, apparently,” Kaplan responded.

“You can’t either,” Trump said.

During the defamation trial, the former president was actively posting on Truth Social, accusing Kaplan of being “biased” and saying that the lawsuit was another “example of Election Interference at a level never seen before.”

During her testimony, Carroll said, “I am here because Donald Trump assaulted me, and when I wrote about it, he said it never happened. He lied, and it shattered my reputation,” per BBC.

“Now I’m known as a liar, a fraud and a whack job,” Carroll added. “I am here to get my reputation back and to stop him from telling lies about me.”

Following the verdict in May, Carroll testified that she believed Trump’s attacks on her would cease. However, a day later, at a CNN town hall event, Trump continued to deny any of Carroll's allegations.

“I have no idea who this woman (is). This is a fake story, made up story,” Trump said at the town hall, according to CNN. “We had a horrible Clinton-appointed judge. He was horrible. He allowed her to put everything in. He allowed us to put nothing in. This is a fake story.”

Carroll said Wednesday that the comments made her feel worthless and that they were worse than any of Trump’s social media posts. “He’s doing it to a large crowd and drawing laughs about sexual assault,” she said, per CNN.

After Trump attorney Alina Habba’s brief cross-examination of Carroll, Habba stated that she has roughly 30 minutes left for a cross-examination that will continue on Thursday.