Faced with a scathing verdict from a jury convicting GOP 2024 front-runner Donald Trump as a sexual abuser, Republicans running for president were not only reluctant to attack Trump — they largely sided with him.
Vivek Ramaswamy, an entrepreneur and long-term presidential candidate, reiterated Trump’s apology that the case in federal court in New York City was nothing more than a political show trial.
“This appears to be just another part of the establishment’s anaphylactic response against its main political allergen: Donald Trump,” he said.
Another longtime presidential candidate, right-wing political talk radio host Larry Elder, made a succinct remark dismissing the verdict against Trump, likening it to sexual assault allegations against President Joe Biden.
“Was Tara Reade available for comment?” Older tweetedreferring to a former staffer in Biden’s office when he was in the Senate.
Reade spoke out in 2020 with allegations that Biden sexually assaulted her in an office building on Capitol Hill in 1993. However, the AP refused to publish a story about it after allegedly spotting inconsistencies in their story.
While most potential candidates remained silent — Ron DeSantis, Nikki Haley, Mike Pence, Tim Scott, Chris Christie, and Chris Sununu, among others, all did not immediately make statements — one Republican outsider offered mild criticism.
Former Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson, who previously served as US Attorney there, said during his more than 25 years of courtroom experience: “I have seen firsthand how a reckless and arrogant disregard for the rule of law can backfire can. Hutchinson said, adding that the jury had come to a decision on Trump’s “unjustifiable conduct.”
Tuesday marked a historic moment as Trump became the first former American president to stand trial for sexual abuse. The jury ended a two-week trial with just three hours of deliberation before concluding that Trump sexually assaulted journalist E. Jean Carroll in the dressing room of a Manhattan department store in 1996.
But most Republicans have been reluctant to criticize their past, present and future flag bearer.
Senator Bill Hagerty (R-TN) wrote on Fox News that the entire case was just another attack on his party’s top candidate.
“It’s been like this for years. And he’s been amazing in his ability to withstand those kinds of attacks, and the American public has been amazing in their support for him,” said Hagerty, who also acquitted Trump during his 2021 Senate impeachment trial for an attack on triggered the very Congress he served in.
While most Republicans hadn’t spoken out about the verdict at all, Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel shrugged off the verdict, telling Fox News viewers that suburban moms like her are more concerned about how Biden is dealing with the US economy bypasses .
“I think a lot of women are incredibly disappointed in the Biden administration, so they’re going to look at the Republican nominee, whoever that is,” McDaniel said.
Meanwhile, Carroll issued a statement Tuesday night saying she filed the lawsuit against Trump to “clear my name and get my life back.”
“Today the world is finally learning the truth. This victory is not just for me, but for every woman who has suffered because she was not believed,” she said. “I would like to extend my deep and enduring gratitude to everyone who has stood by my side from the beginning, especially my incredible and fearless legal team, led by Robbie Kaplan, who has never backed down in the pursuit of truth and justice.”
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