Key moments from Trump deposition in battery and defamation trial
By Kara Scannell, Dan Berman and Nicki Brown, CNN
(CNN) — The video deposition of Donald Trump played before the jury in the E. Jean Carroll civil battery and defamation trial was made public Friday, showing the former president discussing the accusations against him, the "Access Hollywood" tape and the Russia "hoax."
In the video, Trump confirms that he made the allegedly defamatory statements denying knowing Carroll, calling her allegations that he raped her in a Bergdorf Goodman's dressing room in the mid-1990s a "hoax," and saying she is not his type.
He also tells Carroll's attorney, Roberta Kaplan, that she, too, is not his type. And many times during the deposition, he calls Carroll a series of names, including "nut job," a "whack job" and "mentally sick."
The edited deposition runs for nearly an hour. Trump was interviewed in October 2022. He denies all allegations against him.
Here are key moments from the deposition as reviewed by CNN:
Trump mistakes Carroll in a photo for his ex-wife Marla Maples
At one point, Trump is shown a black and white photograph that includes Carroll, but mistakes her for his second wife, Marla Maples. Holding the photo, he points at it and says, "That's Marla, that's my wife."
After his attorney, Alina Habba, intervenes, Trump says the photo is blurry.
KAPLAN: You have in front of you a black and white photograph that we've marked as DJT 23. And I'm going to ask you, is this the photo that you were just referring to?
TRUMP: I think so, yes.
KAPLAN: And do you recall when you first saw this photo?
TRUMP: At some point during the process, I saw it. That's I guess her husband, John Johnson, who was an anchor for ABC, nice guy, I thought, I mean, I don't know him but I thought he was pretty good at what he did. I don't even know who the woman. Let's see, I don't know who -- it's Marla.
KAPLAN: You're saying Marla's in this photo?
TRUMP: That's Marla, yeah. That's, that's my wife.
KAPLAN: Which woman are you pointing to?
HABBA: No, that's Carroll.
TRUMP: [inaudible] Oh I see.
KAPLAN: The person you just pointed to is E. Jean Carroll.
TRUMP: Who's that, who's this?
HABBA: [inaudible] That's your wife.
KAPLAN: And the person, the woman on the right is your then-wife --.
TRUMP: I don't know, this was the picture. I assume that's John Johnson. Is that --.
HABBA: That's Carroll.
TRUMP: -- Carroll, because it's very blurry.
'She is not my type'
Since Carroll came forward in 2019, Trump has repeatedly denied her allegations, often saying that she is "not my type." Here, Kaplan asks Trump about a June 24, 2019, interview with The Hill, where the president used that phrase.
KAPLAN: One of the other things that you said about Ms. Carroll at the time appears in your June 24 statement, which is DJT 22. And what you said there is, "I'll say it with great respect. Number one, she's not my type." When you said that Ms. Carroll was not your type, you meant that she was not your type physically, right?
TRUMP: I saw her in a picture. I didn't know what she looked like. And I said it, and I say it with as much respect as I can, but she is not my type.
After more back and forth with Trump repeating the claim, Kaplan ended the exchange:
KAPLAN: I take it the three women you've married are all your type?
The former president continued insulting Carroll in denying her allegations.
TRUMP: I still don't know this woman. I think she's a whack job. I have no idea. I don't know anything about this woman other than what I read in stories and what I hear. I know, I know nothing about her.
TRUMP: She said that I did something to her that never took place. There was no anything. I know nothing about this nut job.
On rape allegation: 'The worst thing you can do, the worst charge'
Trump appears the most agitated on the video when he denies the rape allegation, saying it is "the worst thing you can do. The worst charge." He also says that he has a right to defend himself, and asks why, if he is insulted, he can't insult someone back.
Kaplan later asked Trump about a Truth Social post from October 12, 2022, where, among other things, he says, "And, while I am not supposed to say it, I will. This woman is not my type!"
KAPLAN: Okay, then you go on to say in the statement, "And while I'm not supposed to say it, I will." Why were you not supposed to say it?
TRUMP: Because it's not politically correct to say -- read the next, go ahead, that she's not my type. Yeah, because it's not politically correct to say it, and I know that, but I'll say it anyway. She's accusing me of rape. A woman that I have no idea who she is. It came out of the blue. She's accusing me of rape, of raping her. The worst thing you can do, the worst charge. And, and you know, you know it's not true too. You're a political operative also. You're, you're a disgrace. But she's accusing me, and so are you, of rape, and it never took place. And I will tell you, I made that statement. And I said, well, it's politically incorrect. She's not my type. And that's 100% true. She's not my type.
'I've had a lot of hoaxes played on me'
The deposition includes an exchange between Trump and Carroll's attorneys about his frequent use of the word "hoax."
KAPLAN: Now, in your Truth Social statement on October 12, you use the word hoax. Specifically, you say, "It is a hoax and a lie just like all the other hoaxes that have been played on me for the past seven years." Do you see that?
KAPLAN: Recall making that statement? And I take it what you're saying there is Ms. Carroll fabricated her claim that you sexually assaulted her, correct?
TRUMP: Yes, totally. 100%.
KAPLAN: Fair to say, you'd agree with me, would you not, that you use the term hoax quite a lot?
TRUMP: Yes, I do.
KAPLAN: CNN reported that you used it more than 250 times in 2020. Does that sound right?
TRUMP: Could be. I've had a lot of hoaxes played on me. This is one of them.
KAPLAN: And how would, how would you define the word hoax?
TRUMP: A fake story. A false story. A made up story.
KAPLAN: Something that's not true.
TRUMP: Something that's not true. Yes.
KAPLAN: Sitting here today can you recall what else you have referred to as a hoax?
TRUMP: Sure. The Russia Russia Russia hoax, it's been proven to be a hoax. Ukraine Ukraine Ukraine hoax. The Mueller situation for two and a half years hoax -- ended and no collusion. It was a whole big hoax. The lying to the FISA court hoax; the lying to Congress many times hoax by all these people, this scum that we have in our country; lying to Congress hoax; the spying on my campaign hoax. They spied on my campaign and now they admitted that was another hoax, and I could get a whole list of them. And this is a hoax too.
KAPLAN: This, when you say this and that --.
TRUMP: This ridiculous situation that we're doing right now, it's a big fat hoax. She's a liar and she's a sick person in my opinion, really sick. Something wrong with her.
Voting by mail
As the exchange continues, Kaplan asks Trump about his having called voting by mail a "hoax." Trump acknowledges both that he said that and has, in fact, voted by mail himself.
KAPLAN: Okay, in addition to the Russia Russia Russia hoax, the Ukraine Ukraine Ukraine hoax, the Mueller the Mueller or Mueller hoax, the lying to FISA hoax, the lying to Congress hoax, and the spying on your campaign hoax. Isn't it true that you also referred to the use of mail in ballots as a hoax?
TRUMP: Yeah, I do. I do. I think they're very dishonest, mail in ballots, very dishonest.
KAPLAN: And isn't it true that you yourself have voted by mail?
TRUMP: I do. I do. Sometimes I do. But I don't know what happens to it once you, once you give it, I have no idea.
'Access Hollywood' tape and 'locker room talk'
Trump was also asked to react to the infamous "Access Hollywood" tape.
He repeated his admonition that the exchange with Billy Bush captured on the videotape was "locker room talk," and said it was historically something that stars -- including himself -- could get away with "fortunately or unfortunately."
KAPLAN: And you say -- and again this has become very famous -- in this video, '"I just start kissing them. It's like a magnet. Just kiss. I don't even wait. And when you're a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab them by the p*ssy. You can do anything." That's what you said. Correct?
TRUMP: Well, historically, that's true with stars.
KAPLAN: It's true with stars that they can grab women by the p*ssy?
TRUMP: Well, that's what, if you look over the last million years I guess that's been largely true. Not always, but largely true. Unfortunately or fortunately.
KAPLAN: And you consider yourself to be a star?
TRUMP: I think you can say that. Yeah.
KAPLAN: And now you said before, a couple of minutes ago, that this was just locker room talk.
TRUMP: It's locker room talk.
KAPLAN: And so does that mean that you didn't really mean it?
TRUMP: No, it's locker room talk. I don't know. It's just the way people talk.
Allegations from Natasha Stoynoff
Jessica Leeds and Natasha Stoynoff both testified during the trial about times they say they were sexually assaulted by Trump, who has denied the accounts. Neither woman is a party to the Carroll litigation.
Stoynoff said Trump forcibly kissed her on December 27, 2005, during a photoshoot and interview session at Mar-a-Lago for People magazine. A story on the Trumps was eventually published in 2006, and Stoynoff went public with her allegations during the 2016 presidential campaign.
Trump addressed the claims during his deposition.
KAPLAN: Okay, now, are you familiar with someone by the name of Natasha Stoynoff?
TRUMP: No. You'll have to give me a little bit of a background.
KAPLAN: Do you remember she wrote about you a lot when she worked at People Magazine?
TRUMP: Oh I do remember there was some woman that wrote and then she, a long time later, I think she wrote a wonderful story. And then a long time later, as I remember it, a long time later, she said that I was aggressive with her. But she wrote the most beautiful story. And then all of a sudden, like, is it a year or two years later, she comes out with this phony story. That I was aggress-, I said, well, why would she have written such a good story for People Magazine, she wrote a really nice piece. And then all of a sudden, like, you know, years or months, many months later, she came up with this phony charge.
Allegations from Jessica Leeds
Leeds, a woman who has claimed Trump sexually assaulted her while sitting in first class on an airplane in the late 1970s, also testified. Trump again denied the claims in his deposition.
TRUMP: This woman made up a story, just like your client made it up. Just made up a story having to do with sitting me and sitting next to me in an airplane. And I mean, I'll have to read this again, but that story was so false, also. But this was, I guess, making out as opposed to what your client said. This story was so false. This is a disgrace also.
This story has been updated with additional developments.
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