A Republican senator said Wednesday that magazine advice columnist E. Jean Carroll's allegation that President Donald Trump had sexually assaulted her in the 1990s should be investigated.
Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina told CNN's Jake Tapper on Wednesday that Carroll's account, which Trump has denied, should be examined like any claim that seemed legitimate.
"Yeah, I think any allegations made that seem to have merit we should take a look at," he said. "I have not seen the allegation so I can't comment on it specifically."
Scott added that he hadn't extensively studied Carroll's allegations -- that Trump sexually assaulted her in a Bergdorf Goodman department store -- because of the "fact patterns."
"I've seen it. I haven't read into" it, he said. "I haven't read the stories because the fact patterns are really important in making a decision in whether or not there should be a legal or criminal investigation into allegations."
Ernst said that while Carroll was right to come forward, "obviously there has to be some additional information -- they need to interview her. They need to visit with him."
Romney said he hoped the "very serious allegation" would be "fully evaluated."
Carroll claims that she encountered Trump in the fall of 1995 or spring 1996 at Bergdorf Goodman, where, she says, he sought her advice in buying a gift and then attacked her in one of the dressing rooms.
"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," Carroll alleges. "I am so shocked I shove him back and start laughing again. He seizes both my arms and pushes me up against the wall a second time, and, as I become aware of how large he is, he holds me against the wall with his shoulder and jams his hand under my coat dress and pulls down my tights."
Carroll continues, "I am astonished by what I'm about to write: I keep laughing. 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."