George Stephanopoulos defiant over Trump’s defamation suit: ‘I’m not going to be cowed’

George Stephanopoulos defiant over Trump’s defamation suit: ‘I’m not going to be cowed’

ABC News anchor George Stephanopoulos doubled down, insisting he won’t be “cowed out of doing my job because of a threat” on Wednesday when asked about former President Trump’s defamation lawsuit against him.

In March, Trump sued for defamation after Stephanopoulos said several times on ABC’s “This Week” during a heated interview earlier this month with Rep. Nancy Mace, R-S.C., that the former president was “found liable for rape.” A federal jury in New York decided that Trump was not liable for rape but was liable for sexual abuse and defamation in the 2023 civil trial of advice columnist E. Jean Carroll v. Trump. 

“[Mace] famously started her political career… when she was in the statehouse, talking about being a victim of rape. And so, I asked her, as a victim of rape, how she could support someone who a jury has found liable for rape,” Stephanopoulos said on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.”

“Trump sued me because I used the word ‘rape,’ even though a judge said that’s in fact what did happen,” Stephanopoulos continued. “We filed a motion to dismiss.”

ABC HAS TO STAND BY GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS AS TRUMP SUES FOR DEFAMATION, LEGAL GURU SAYS

After the federal jury found Trump liable for sexual abuse, but not rape, Judge Lewis Kaplan wrote in a later ruling that just because Carroll failed to prove rape “within the meaning of the New York Penal Law does not mean that she failed to prove that Mr. Trump ‘raped’ her as many people commonly understand the word ‘rape.’”

Mace, a rape survivor, has said she felt personally attacked by Stephanopoulos, who criticized Mace again during his “Late Show” appearance.

“She tried to say that I was the problem for asking the question, rather than he being the problem because a jury found him liable for defamation and sexual abuse,” Stephanopoulos said. 

ABC NEWS’ GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS INACCURATELY SAID TRUMP WAS FOUND ‘LIABLE FOR RAPE’ 10 TIMES, LEGAL GURUS SAY

The lawsuit, filed in Florida, noted that Trump representatives contacted ABC seeking a retraction following the interview, but the Disney-owned news outlet did not apologize or correct the record. ABC stood by Stephanopoulos following the interview. 

Stephanopoulos, who was snubbed from moderating ABC’s presidential debate, repeated the term “liable for rape” 10 times during the interview.

Colbert, a fierce and outspoken critic of Trump, asked Stephanopoulos how it feels to get sued for “doing your job.”

“Unfortunately, it now comes with the territory. But I’m not going to be cowed out of doing my job because of a threat,” Stephanopoulos said, prompting a loud ovation from the studio audience. 

TRUMP SUES ABC NEWS, GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS FOR DEFAMATION

ABC News did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the lawsuit. 

“George did his job by asking meaningful questions that are relevant to our viewers,” an ABC News spokesperson told Fox News Digital about the Mace interview prior to the lawsuit being filed.

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