The top lawyer for writer E Jean Carroll has said that former President Donald Trump used a thinly veiled and well-known coded expression to call her the c-word during a deposition.
Attorney Roberta Kaplan represented Ms Carroll in both her defamation trials after Mr Trump repeatedly called the writer a liar and personally insulted her following the release of her 2019 memoir in which she claimed that the ex-president raped her in a Manhattan department store dressing room in the mid-1990s.
Mr Trump was found liable for sexual abuse in the first defamation trial, a ruling which was also applied to the second trial, meaning that the second jury only had to decide on damages, awarding Ms Carroll $83.3m.
Ms Kaplan said the incident took place when Mr Trump was being deposed at Mar-a-Lago in an unrelated case regarding supposed connections with a fraudulent marketing firm, a case which has since been dismissed.
According to the attorney, as the questioning came to an end, the Trump legal team made sure the proceedings were over and no longer on the record before Mr Trump looked at her and said: “See you next Tuesday”.
The phrase “is derived from a combination of the letters c and u, which when pronounced aloud sound like ‘see you,’ and the first letters of the words next and Tuesday. This forms an acronym which ”stands for c***, according to Dictionary.com.
The phrase appeared online as early as 1999 and initially appeared on Twitter in 2006.
“I, thank God, had no idea what that meant, so I said to him, ‘What are you talking about? I’m coming back on Wednesday,’” Ms Kaplan told Mr Conway on the podcast.
“Literally, it was an honest answer. I had no idea what he’s talking about,” she added, noting that her colleagues made her aware of what Mr Trump had supposedly meant by the phrase.
Sarah Longwell, an anti-Trump Republican strategist and podcast co-host, said it was a “teenage boy-level joke”.
“Had I known, I for sure would have gotten angry,” Ms Kaplan said. “I looked like I was being above it all, which I wasn’t. I just did not know.”
Ms Kaplan also said that Mr Trump threw a pile of documents across the table after his legal team offered lunch to Ms Kaplan and her colleagues.
“There was a huge pile of documents, exhibits, sitting in front of him, and he took the pile and he just threw it across the table – and stormed out of the room,” she said.
In an appearance on CNN, Mr Conway called Mr Trump’s behaviour “appalling”.
“I mean, he’s a pig, and the fact that he was president of the United States makes it all the more distressing,” he said. “It was misogynistic – to call a woman that to her face and trying to be cute about it. I mean, it was just disgraceful and the kind of indecent conduct that you wouldn’t expect in any adult.”
“I wouldn’t even say it was teenage boy-level conduct. It was just utterly, utterly childish, and you know, it’s not that surprising that Trump does this ... we’ve seen him do all sorts of crude things over time,” he added.
Mr Conway told CNN that it reminded him of an incident in 2019 when Mr Trump “was congratulating a pair of female astronauts who had conducted an EVA, a spacewalk outside the space shuttle, and it was the first all-female EVA”.
“He said, ‘Oh, this is the first time a woman’s ever been outside the space shuttle.’ And then the astronaut, the female astronaut gently corrected him, and he clearly was taken aback. It was a very gentle, very respectful correction, and he starts to touch his forehead as if to scratch an itch, but he used his middle finger, and there was this huge controversy: ‘Was he really giving the finger to these astronauts?’” Mr Conway recalled.
“People gave him the benefit of the doubt, but I find it hard to give him the benefit of the doubt after seeing all of this conduct,” he added.
The Independent has reached out to the Trump campaign for comment.