Trump sues ABC News and George Stephanopoulos for defamation

Former President Trump is suing TV journalist George Stephanopoulos and ABC News for defamation for saying he raped advice columnist E. Jean Carroll.

On a March 10 edition of “This Week with George Stephanopoulos,” the anchor said Trump was “liable for rape” during his interview with Rep. Nancy Mace (R-S.C.). Stephanopoulos was pressing Mace, a rape victim herself, on how she could rationalize supporting Trump’s 2024 presidential candidacy.

Trump’s lawsuit, filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Miami, said the jury in the Carroll case found him liable for sexual abuse — not rape — and that Stephanopoulos defamed the presumptive Republican presidential nominee by using the term.

A jury ruled in January that Trump must pay Carroll $83.3 million in damages after finding Trump liable for defamation, the second case related to a 1996 incident that occurred when the two met in a New York department store.

In May, jurors rejected Carroll’s allegation that she was raped but found Trump responsible for the lesser charge of sexual abuse, along with defamation, and awarded Carroll $5 million in damages. Trump, who denied that the incident occurred, repeatedly mocked Carroll over her claims.

Trump’s suit cites how Stephanopoulos himself reported that Trump was not liable for rape when he reported on the verdict of the previous Carroll case on May 10.

The suit also noted that the headline on an ABC News online story on the Mace interview first used the word “rape” and was later changed to “sexual assault.”

Trump’s suit is asking for unspecified damages.

ABC News has not issued a comment on the matter.

The tense “This Week” interview was widely shared on social media. Mace took umbrage at Stephanopoulos’ question, claiming he was “rape-shaming” her by bringing up her own experience as a victim, which she has publicly discussed.

Trump has previously sued media outlets, including the New York Times and CNN, with no success.

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