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Roberta Kaplan says Trump threw papers across table at Mar-a-Lago deposition because his legal team agreed to feed her lunch


By Kaanita Iyer and Jamie Gangel, CNN

(CNN) — Attorney Roberta Kaplan said former President Donald Trump threw papers across a table and stormed off during a deposition at Mar-a-Lago after learning that his legal team had agreed to provide her lunch.

Kaplan, who has represented clients in high-profile cases against Trump, including E. Jean Carroll, said on an episode of the “George Conway Explains it All (to Sarah Longwell)” podcast recorded Thursday that she rejected the former president’s request that they work through a lunch break because he believed the deposition was “a waste of my time.”

“And then you could kind of see the wheel spinning in his brain. You could really almost see it,” Kaplan told Republican strategist Sarah Longwell and conservative attorney George Conway, a longtime Trump critic. “And he said, ‘Well, you’re here in Mar-a-Lago. What do you think you’re going to do for lunch? Where are you going to get lunch?’”

Kaplan said she told him that his attorneys had “graciously offered to provide” her team with lunch — a common civil practice between opposing legal teams.

“At which point 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,” Kaplan shared, adding that Trump specifically yelled at his lawyer Alina Habba for providing them lunch.

“He really yelled at Alina for that. He was so mad at Alina,” she said.

Kaplan continued: “He came back in and he said, ‘Well, how’d you like the lunch?’ And I said, ‘Well, sir, I had a banana. You know, I can never really eat when I’m taking testimony.’ And he said, ‘Well, I told you,’ — it was kind of charming. He said, ‘I told you, I told them to make you really bad sandwiches, but they can’t help themselves here. We have the best sandwiches.’”

Kaplan was deposing Trump at Mar-Lago in a lawsuit alleging the former president was involved with a fraudulent marketing company. A federal judge dismissed the suit last month.

In a separate anecdote, Kaplan detailed the end of the deposition when she was set to leave, saying that Trump told her: “See you next Tuesday” – a phrase that is often used as a derogatory euphemism directed at women.

“We come in the room and I say, ‘I’m done asking questions’ and immediately I hear from the other side, ‘Off the record. Off the record. Off the record.’ So they must have planned it. And he looks at me from across the table and he says, ‘See you next Tuesday,’” she recounted.

Kaplan said that she was initially confused, as their next meeting was set for a Wednesday. “You could tell it was like, it was like a kind of a joke again, like teenage boys would come up with. But again, I wasn’t in on the joke,” she said.

“I wasn’t in on the joke, so I had no idea. Then we get into the car and my colleagues are like, ‘Robbie, do you know what that means?’ And I’m like, ‘No, what are you talking about?’ They tell me and I’m like, oh my God, thank God I didn’t know because had I known, I for sure would have gotten angry. There’s no question I would have gotten angry,” Kaplan said.

CNN has reached out to representatives for Trump and Habba.

Kaplan’s comments come a week after her victory in Carroll’s defamation trial against Trump. A jury awarded Carroll — a former magazine columnist who has alleged Trump raped her in a department store in the mid-1990s and then defamed her when he denied her claim — $83.3 million. Trump is expected to appeal the verdict.

Kaplan also described last week’s verdict as a career-defining moment. When asked which feels better — winning the defamation case against Trump or her successful challenge to the Defense of Marriage Act in 2013 that led to the eventual Supreme Court ruling that cleared the way for same-sex marriage — Kaplan pointed to her recent victory.

“I spent my whole life devoted to the principle that we have a rule of law and we have a judicial system that works,” Kaplan said. “And that’s what makes us a constitutional democracy, that’s — at least until recently — was to be admired worldwide. And it was starting, I mean, it is in times looking like that may not be true.”

But, she added: “This case validated that at least as of now, we still have all that.”

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Article Topic Follows: CNN - US Politics

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