The crowd laughed at the CNN town hall Wednesday night when the sexual abuse verdict against former President Donald Trump was brought up. But one new report says there is worry that the verdict could hurt Trump’s political fortunes.
Donald Trump In More Trouble?
But as we’ve learned over the last few years, a lot of normal rules of politics appear to not apply to Donald Trump.
On Tuesday, a jury in New York, after just a couple of hours of deliberations, found that Trump had both sexually abused and defamed journalist E. Jean Carroll, although the jury did not for Carroll on the question of whether he raped her.
Carroll was awarded more than $5 million in damages, although Trump, who has maintained his innocence in that and just about every other matter, vowed to appeal.
The following day, Trump appeared on CNN for its town hall event, and when interviewer Kaitlan Collins asked him about the verdict, the audience laughed, and then Trump claimed that “they said he didn’t rape her, and I didn’t do anything else either,” which is not accurate.
It appears clear that Trump’s supporters will not be dissuaded from backing him due to the Carroll verdict, just as they haven’t been from the two impeachments, “Access Hollywood,” January 6, his recent criminal, ” indictment in New York or anything else.
Trump Needs to Worry
But one report this week says that there’s some worry, even among Republican officeholders, that the verdict could hurt the former president.
“That and several other things cause me to question whether he’d be the best nominee for the party,” Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-ND) said on CNN this week. “It’s very serious. But I think as a political matter, it’s less interesting to the people outside Washington, DC than it is inside these walls or on Capitol Hill.”
One big reason? It could hurt him with woman voters, a demographic with which Trump is already struggling after the overturning of Roe v. Wade.
Alyssa Farrah Griffin, a former Trump White House aide, agreed with those complaints.
“This one of the many firsts in history that Donald Trump has managed to achieve – a new low,” Griffin said this week. “We cannot afford to put this man up as Republicans if we actually want to win because women will run from voting from him.”
“I think he would sink. He would not win the White House. He would probably cause us to lose the House and the Senate,” GOP Rep. Don Bacon told CNN’s Melanie Zanona this week. “I would see very dark clouds on the horizon if he is the nominee.”
Also weighing in was former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, who has announced that he is running for president in 2024.
“I give respect to what juries find. By and large, they get it right,” Hutchinson said on CNN. However, most of the other GOP presidential candidates have not said anything about the jury verdict, with Gov. Ron DeSantis keeping with his usual policy of not mentioning Trump at all.
CNN’s own analysis went deeper into those questions.
“For most of modern US history and for most candidates, Tuesday’s developments would raise potentially insurmountable questions of viability… the fact that Trump won’t quit the GOP race – and no one will make him – shows his dominance of the Republican Party, and how he redefined behavioral expectations for public life.”
Expertise and Experience:
Stephen Silver is a Senior Editor for 19FortyFive. He is an award-winning journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.