Faced with a devastating jury verdict convicting 2024 GOP front-runner Donald Trump of being a sex offender, fellow Republicans running for president didn’t just hesitate to attack Trump — they largely sided with him.
Vivek Ramaswamy, an entrepreneur and presidential candidate, echoed Trump’s apology that the case in federal court in New York was nothing more than a political show trial.
“This looks like another part of the establishment’s anaphylactic response to its chief political allergen: Donald Trump,” he said.
Another longtime presidential contender, right-wing political radio host Larry Elder, made a pointed remark dismissing the conviction against Trump, comparing it to the sexual assault allegations against President Joe Biden.
$5M Gut Punch: Jury Finds Trump Sexually Assaulted E. Gene Carroll
“Was Tara Reid available for comment?” Elder tweetedreferring to a former Biden staffer when he was in the Senate.
Reid came forward in 2020 with allegations that Biden sexually assaulted her in an office building on Capitol Hill in 1993. But the AP declined to publish a story about it after it allegedly found inconsistencies in her story.
While most of the would-be candidates were silent — Ron DeSantis, Nikki Haley, Mike Pence, Tim Scott, Chris Christie and Chris Sununu all did not immediately make a statement, among the rest of the field — one Republican loyalist offered some light criticism.
Former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, who previously served as U.S. attorney there, said that in more than 25 years of courtroom experience, “I’ve seen firsthand how a cavalier and arrogant contempt for the rule of law can have counterproductive,” Hutchinson said, adding that the jury reached a verdict on Trump’s “indefensible conduct.”
Tuesday was a historic moment as Trump became the first former US president to be indicted in court for sexual assault. Jurors ended a two-week trial deliberating just three hours before concluding that Trump in 1996 sexually assaulted journalist E. Jean Carroll in a fitting room at a Manhattan department store.
But most Republicans were far from ready to criticize their former, current and future standard-bearer.
Sen. Bill Haggerty (R-TN) went on Fox News to turn the whole affair into another shot at his party’s top candidate.
E. Jean Carroll’s lawyers delivered a knockout blow to Trump
“This has been going on for years. And he’s been incredible in his ability to withstand those kinds of attacks, and the American public has been incredible in supporting him,” said Haggerty, who also exonerated Trump during his 2021 Senate impeachment for instigating an attack on Congress itself. where he served.
While most Republicans had not spoken at all about the sentence, the chairwoman of the Republican National Committee, Rona McDaniel, shrugged off the verdict and told Fox News viewers that suburban mothers like her are more concerned about how Biden is handling the US economy.
“I think a lot of women are incredibly disillusioned with the Biden administration, so they’re going to look to the GOP nominee, whoever he is,” McDaniel said.
Meanwhile, Carroll issued a statement Tuesday night saying she filed the lawsuit against Trump to “clear her name and get her life back.”
“Today the world finally knows the truth. This victory is not only for me, but for every woman who has suffered because she was not believed,” she said. “I would like to express my deep and lasting gratitude to all those who stood by me from the beginning, especially my incredible and fearless legal team, led by Robbie Kaplan, who never, ever relented in the pursuit of truth and justice.”
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