President Donald Trump strongly denied accusations former Elle columnist E. Jean Carroll’s allegations that he violently sexually assaulted her in a Manhattan department-store dressing room in the mid-1990s.

The president accused Carroll, a well-known writer, of fabricating her story and suggested without any evidence that Carroll may have colluded with the Democratic Party to make up the allegations.

“I’ve never met this person in my life,” Trump said of Carroll in a statement provided to reporters. “She is trying to sell a new book – that should indicate her motivation. It should be sold in the fiction section.”

Carroll accused Trump of “lunging” at her, forcibly kissing her, and forcing his penis inside her in Bergdorf Goodman. Her accusation was published in New York magazine on Friday as an excerpt from her new book, “What Do We Need Men For?”

Trump went on to accuse New York magazine, which he called a “dying publication,” of trafficking in “fake news” to “prop itself up.” He also suggested a possible political motive.

“If anyone has information that the Democratic Party is working with Ms. Carroll or New York Magazine, please notify us as soon as possible,” he wrote. “The world should know what’s really going on. It is a disgrace and people should pay dearly for such false accusations.”

Trump further argued that the lack of hard evidence to support Carroll’s claims undermines her story.

“Ms. Carroll and New York Magazine: No pictures? No surveillance? No video? No reports? No sales attendants around??” he wrote. “I would like to thank Bergdorf Goodman for confirming they have no video footage of any such incident, because it never happened.”

But there is hard evidence that Trump has met Carroll. The writer included a photo of herself with Trump at an NBC party around 1987.

Carroll said she ran into Trump inside the luxury Manhattan department store and agreed to help him select a present for a girl after he asked her for advice. She wrote that Trump assaulted her after she entered a dressing room with him inside the store.

“The moment the dressing-room door is closed, he lunges at me, pushes me against the wall, hitting my head quite badly, and puts his mouth against my lips,” she wrote. “The next moment, still wearing correct business attire, shirt, tie, suit jacket, overcoat, he opens the overcoat, unzips his pants, and, forcing his fingers around my private area, thrusts his penis halfway – or completely, I’m not certain – inside me. It turns into a colossal struggle.”

Carroll wrote that she physically fought Trump off of her and fled the scene of the encounter, which took “no more than three minutes.”

“I try to stomp his foot. I try to push him off with my one free hand – for some reason, I keep holding my purse with the other – and I finally get a knee up high enough to push him out and off and I turn, open the door, and run out of the dressing room,” she wrote.

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