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Trump says he’s the one who should be paid damages in E Jean Carroll defamation trial

Moments after the second day of a jury trial to determine how much money he owes a woman he defamed for lying about sexually abusing her, Donald Trump claimed that he is the one who suffered damages.

The former president – on trial a second time for defaming E Jean Carroll, who has accused Mr Trump of sexually assaulting her and then lying about never meeting her – briefly spoke at his 40 Wall Street property after jurors in a federal courtroom heard several hours of testimony from the former Elle magazine writer.

Mr Trump, who baselessly casts his growing pile of legal challenges as a Democratic conspiracy to keep him away from the White House, called the trial “rigged” and “election interference” based on a “made-up, fabricated story”.

The facts of the case have already been established, and Mr Trump is barred from disputing that he sexually abused Ms Carroll. She is seeking $10m (£7.9m) in compensatory damages and punitive damages, and a jury will determine how much Mr Trump should pay, if anything.

“I frankly am the one who suffered damages,” Mr Trump said on Wednesday. “I should be given money, given damages.”

The former president watched Ms Carroll’s testimony as she described the threats she faced after his defamatory statements, and how his statements “shattered” her reputation, she said.

The trial is the second stemming from defamation claims brought by Ms Carroll. Last year, a jury found him civilly responsible for sexual abuse and awarded her $5m. The second trial stems from similarly defamatory remarks about Ms Carroll while he was still in the White House.

Mr Trump has repeatedly denied the accusations, claims he never met Ms Carroll and has disparaged her and the case dozens of times on his Truth Social account.

His latest statement is at least the second time within a week that he demanded to be paid for his legal challenges.

In closing arguments in a long-running civil fraud case in New York County Superior Court last week, the former president seized an opportunity to lash out at the judge and the trial, painting himself as the victim of political persecution who should be owed money for the litigation against him.

“We should receive damages for what we’ve gone through,” he said. “What happened here, sir, is a fraud on me.”

Mr Trump was under no obligation to appear at either trials, but has falsely claimed that he is being pulled off the campaign trail to attend them, underscoring what has become an inextricable link between his courtroom battles and his campaign for the presidency.