A bombshell cover story in New York magazine has forced a statement from President Trump, and in it he's denying sexually assaulting Elle columnist E. Jean Carroll in a Bergdorf Goodman dressing room more than 20 years ago. "I've never met this person in my life," Trump says in the statement cited by Politico and NPR. "She is trying to sell a new book—that should indicate her motivation. It should be sold in the fiction section." (Trump is referring to the fact that the first-person New York account was an excerpt from Carroll's upcoming book, What Do We Need Men For? A Modest Proposal.) Trump added, "Shame on those who make up false stories of assault to try to get publicity for themselves, or sell a book, or carry out a political agenda—like Julie Swetnick who falsely accused Justice Brett Kavanaugh. It's just as bad for people to believe it, particularly when there is zero evidence."
He also slams New York, noting, "Worse still for a dying publication to try to prop itself up by peddling fake news—it's an epidemic." And then, this insinuation: "If anyone has information that the Democratic Party is working with Ms. Carroll or New York magazine, please notify us as soon as possible. The world should know what's really going on. It is a disgrace and people should pay dearly for such false accusations." CNN reporter Daniel Dale notes that, despite Trump's assertion that he never met Carroll, a picture appears in Carroll's own article that shows Trump, his then-wife Ivana, Carroll, and Carroll's then-husband talking and laughing at an NBC party around 1987. Carroll, meanwhile, appeared on MSNBC Friday night, saying she wouldn't be pressing charges and that "I can handle it. I can keep going. My life has gone on," per Politico. (Read more President Trump stories.)