Donald Trump’s White House staffers accused him of sexual harassment, a jury ruled Tuesday that the former president was responsible for sexually assaulting E. Jean Carroll.
The jury awarded Carroll a $5 million verdict, which could upset Trump as he campaigns for a second term.
The jury rejected Carroll’s claim that she was sexually assaulted in a dressing room at a Bergdorf Goodman store in 1996, and found Trump to be the lesser sexual assault. They also found that Trump was responsible for discrediting Carroll’s allegations. Trump’s lawyer, Joseph Tacopina, said the former president plans to appeal.
Trump condemned the decision on his social media platform, Truth Social. In the post, he said he would “never know” who Carol is, and that the verdict was “outrageous” and “a continuation of the greatest witch hunt in history!”
Commenting on the decision to CNN, Alyssa Farah Griffin, who resigned as White House communications director in December 2020, said Trump had a pattern of behaving inappropriately with women in the White House.
Farrah Griffin said, “I have had countless examples in the White House that I thought were inappropriate, but I brought them up to the chief of staff because I thought the way he was engaging with women was dangerous.”
She noted that she was not the only one to report Trump’s actions to his chiefs of staff, including Mark Meadows. “Rising to this level is nothing I consider inappropriate and moreover I have a duty to report.”
Farrah Griffin also urged voters to “pay attention” and Republicans to “stop apologizing” for Trump.
“When Donald Trump says who he is, believe him,” she said.
“We wanted to classify this as locker room talk in 2016. It was not locker room talk.” he added, referring to the infamous 2005 Access Hollywood hot mic recording in which Trump talks about kissing and grabbing women without asking.
Former Trump White House spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham said her team reported Trump’s behavior toward a woman to Meadows and another chief of staff.
Newsweek contacted Mark Meadows through the website of the Conservative Partnership Institute, of which he is a senior partner.
Trump often commented on women’s appearance, Grisham told CNN’s Erin Burnett.
Grisham said Trump would “ask the offending employee to travel overseas” when it was not his turn. “She once asked one of my other agents to bring her back so they could see her ass.”
Grisham said, “In fact I did everything I could to keep her from visiting and to be with her if she was alone with him.” You might find that you were with him all the time.
Grisham said all of his senior advisers were aware of Trump’s actions, but there was little they could do.
“After all what can they do but go out there and say, ‘Isn’t that cool, sir?'” he said. “And you know, Donald Trump will do whatever Donald Trump wants.”