On Wednesday night, CNN hosted a Town Hall with former President Donald Trump in Goffstown, New Hampshire and the fallout for platforming a would-be autocratic was swift. Many Twitter users called out the lack of fact-checking Trump's lies during the broadcast. People were also critical of host Kaitlan Collins and her past work for right-wing outlet The Daily Caller, and, after the event, CNN insiders called the entire thing a "disgrace."
However, the nadir of the evening may have come when Trump began recounting the sexual assault claims E. Jean Carroll made against him—much to the amusement of the crowd.
The day before the Town Hall, the former President was found guilty of sexually abusing E. Jean Carroll and ordered to pay $5 million dollars in damages. During the trial, Carroll recounted Trump assaulting her in the dressing room of a Bergdorf Goodman in the '90s. Trump was not present during the trial, though jurors did hear from him via a video deposition where he defended his infamous "Grab'em by the pussy" comments. The case was a civil suit and Trump is not facing any jail time.
During the Town Hall, Collins asked Trump if he thought the verdict would deter women from voting for him. The former president responded by describing the incident.
"I met her in the front door of Bergdorf Goodman," said Trump. "I was immediately attracted to her and she was immediately attracted to me. And we had this great chemistry. We’re walking into a crowded department store. We had this great chemistry."
At this point, you can hear a few audible laughs from the crowd.
"And a few minutes later, we end up in a room, a dressing room of Bergdorf Goodman, right near the cash register," said Trump, as the laughs grow louder. CNN cameras cut to the crowd, some of whom are smiling while others cover their mouths.
"And then she found out that there were locks in the door," Trump continued. "She said, I found one that was open. She found one, she learned this at trial. She found one that was open. What kind of a woman meets somebody and brings them up and within minutes, you’re playing hanky-panky in a dressing room, okay?"
The "hanky-panky" line led to a '90s sitcom laugh track level of laughing amongst the crowd. According to the New York Times, the audience was drawn from mostly Republican groups.
Following the trial, Trump called Carroll's sexual assault claims "fake" and a "made-up story." Those comments led to E. Jean Carroll's lawyer telling the New York Times they are considering suing Trump for defamation once again.