Two Republicans in the United States Senate have indicated they want to hear more from an accuser of President Donald Trump, who says he raped her in a New York City department store in the 1990s.
E. Jean Carroll made the allegations this month, which she delves into greater detail within an upcoming book about the subject. She said that Trump forced himself on her, attempting to rape her, sometime in 1995 or 1996, according to reporting from the BBC.
Trump has denied the allegations, saying that Carroll is “totally lying.”
The president also made a widely-criticized defense of why he couldn’t have raped Carroll when she said he did. “She’s not my type,” Trump said.
In spite of the president’s assurances, Utah Sen. Mitt Romney and Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst, both Republicans, have come out saying they want to learn more about the issue.
“[T]here has to be some additional information,” Ernst insisted. “They need to interview her. They need to visit with him.”
Romney agreed, though he made it a point to say he didn’t know who should do the investigating if it should move forward.
“Whether it’s Congress or whether it’s another setting, I’m not sure,” Romney said, per reporting from The Independent. “It’s a very serious allegation. I hope that it is fully evaluated. The president said it didn’t happen and I certainly hope that’s the case.”
Most Republicans have not voiced similar calls for an investigation, and some, like Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) have made it clear they take the president at his word.
“He’s denied it, and that’s enough for me,” Graham said.
Besides Carroll, at least 19 other women have made similar allegations of Trump sexually assaulting them in one way or another over the past few decades, USA Today reported.
Within the Trump administration, officials have made it clear that their line of defense has been to discredit the women who have accused the president of assault. In October 2017, outgoing Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders insisted that all of the Trump accusers were lying.
“All I can say is it’s totally fake news,” Sanders said at the time, per reporting from The Daily Beast. “It’s just fake. It’s fake. It’s made-up stuff, and it’s disgraceful, what happens, but that happens in the world of politics.
Featured image via Gage Skidmore/Flickr