donald trump he has faced what could have been an important week in his bid to win the presidency for a second time.
A jury found him responsible for sexually abusing and defaming E. Jean Carroll, and less than 24 hours later at his CNN The city council doubled down on calling her a “kook” and dismissing her rape allegations as “hanky panky.”
He has now been charged with 34 felony counts and defended his comments he made on the infamous Access Hollywood tape.
Many lawmakers and commentators hailed it as a death knell for his campaign. Then he fanned the fire further by calling kaitlan collins a ‘nasty woman’ during their primetime showdown on Wednesday night watched by more than three million Americans.
However, the reality, for some experts and strategists, is very different. Some say his behavior should disqualify him from being the Republican nominee in 2024, but others believe what doesn’t kill the president makes him stronger.
And his dominance in recent polls and the unconditional support among his base show it.
A jury found Trump liable for sexually assaulting and slandering E. Jean Carroll, and less than 24 hours later at his CNN town hall he doubled down on calling her a ‘nutty’ and dismissing her rape allegations as ‘hanky panky’
During the town hall he also called moderate Kaitlin Collins a ‘nasty person’
He has a commanding lead over potential rival Ron DeSantis, is viewed more favorably by some American voters than President Joe Biden (according to a poll last week), and continues to draw support from Republicans.
So will the events that have unfolded this week change the minds of the supporters Trump needs most?
“It will certainly turn more independent voters away from Trump and should give his Republican rivals a chance to go after Trump as a risky candidate,” Republican strategist Doug Heye told DailyMail.com.
“But if they take advantage of that opportunity, it remains to be seen.”
“At this point, the American people already have a very good sense of the character of Donald Trump, and the Carroll verdict is unlikely to change the minds of many voters,” said Christina Wolbrecht, a professor of political science at Notre Dame University. Give me that he studies politics and gender, he told DailyMail.com.
On Capitol Hill, one thing pundits thought Ron DeSantis would have over Trump is establishment endorsement. But experts say DeSantis is aloof and doesn’t take the time to forge the connections he might need in the future, and early backers, particularly in Florida, have overwhelmingly broken with Trump.
Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., chairman of the Senate campaign arm and supporter of the former president, shrugged off the latest responsible verdict.
“It appears that President Trump’s legal team will appeal this decision,” he told reporters this week.
‘Look, I have respect for our juries, for our system of government. But at the same time that is something that was a civil case. It’s not a felony or anything,” Rep. Buddy Carter, a staunch Trump ally, told DailyMail.com.
Rep. Derrick Van Orden, a Republican who was on Capitol Hill on Jan. 6 to support Trump but denies trespassing on Capitol grounds, did not condemn or endorse the president.
In an interview with DailyMail.com, he stressed the difference between guilty and responsible, but evaded giving his own thoughts.
‘I don’t tolerate people talking down to people, ask anyone in my office. That’s not something I focus on. I’ll give you the absolute truth: former President Trump and President Biden are going to do what they’re going to do and neither of them are going to call me to ask my opinion.
Republican Rep. Michael McCaul, chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, predicted the issue could help Trump, just as the Manhattan district attorney who indicted him did.
“I haven’t seen any polling data, but it seems to me that every time people go after him, whether it’s the Manhattan DA or other cases, it’s actually interesting, it seems like it actually increases his popularity and their numbers.’ he told DailyMail.com.
Sen. John Cornyn, a Texas Republican and a member of the Senate leadership, said he thought Trump was not a winnable candidate, regardless of this week’s verdict.
“The fact is, I don’t think he can win the presidency regardless of what you think of him as an individual.”
Sen. Todd Young, R-Ind., told CNN he was particularly concerned by Trump’s comments at town hall in which he refused to say whether Russian President Vladimir Putin is a war criminal.
“President Trump’s judgment is incorrect in this case,” Young said.
Jean Carroll leaves federal court on May 9, 2023 in New York
A civil jury on Tuesday, May 9, 2023, found that former President Donald Trump sexually assaulted the writer in the 1990s.
“Of course” he is concerned, Young said. ‘That’s why I don’t intend to support it.’
Asked why he won’t support Trump, he said: ‘Where do I start?’
Sen. Kevin Cramer, RN.D., told reporters: ‘Obviously, I would prefer to have a president who is not found responsible for assault. He’s not a disqualifier, but he’s certainly not a check in the plus column.’
But pundits agree that Trump will need to win over independent-minded suburban women if he wants to win. Such behavior may not hurt his standing with the women who already love him, but he certainly won’t win over any new voters.
“Trump had trouble winning over women, and suburban women in particular, in 2020. Women who are already Trump supporters may view a verdict as illegitimate, but they are not the people Trump needs to win over.” said law professor and conservative writer William Jacobson. .
“Being held civilly liable for sexual assault could only hurt Trump’s chances with much-needed independent women in a general election, which would also influence the primary since eligibility is an issue.”