Melania Trump went on the offensive for husband Donald Trump during an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper, Monday night, defending the GOP nominee against the allegations of sexual misconduct that have been raised by numerous women in the last week, alone.
Speaking from the couple’s shared apartment in Manhattan’s Trump Tower, Melania, 46, said, “I’m very strong. And people, they don’t really know me. People think I talk about me like, ‘Oh Melania. Oh poor Melania.’ Don’t feel sorry for me. I can handle everything.”
The mother of one also had a message for her husband’s critics. “I see in the press a lot almost like celebrities or people who think they’re celebrity. I would suggest to them at look at themselves in the mirror and to look at their actions and to take care of their own families,” she said.
Ahead of the second Presidential debate on Oct. 9, The Washington Post released a video featuring Donald, 70, making lewd comments about women on tape in 2005. Melania’s interview aired just hours after it was revealed that Billy Bush officially parted ways with to Today show as a result of the leaked tape.
In response, Melania spoke out through a statement, admonishing the vulgar comments, “The words my husband used are unacceptable and offensive to me. This does not represent the man that I know. He has the heart and mind of a leader.”
She added, “I hope people will accept his apology, as I have, and focus on the important issues facing our nation and the world.”
Speaking specifically about Donald’s 2005 conversation with Billy Bush, Melania recalled: “He apologized, and I accepted his apology, I hope the American people will accept it as well. It was many, many years ago.”
Though she called Bush and her husband “two teenage boys,” she also defended Donald’s “locker room” comments by explaining, “I know how some men talk, and that’s how I saw it,” even jokingly sharing: “Sometimes I say I have two boys at home, I have my young son and I have my husband.”
When asked about the recent accusations against her husband, Mrs. Trump explained, “No that isn’t sexual assault. He didn’t say that he did it.” She also revealed that she’s seen many women approach the real estate mogul in the past. “I see many, many women coming to him and giving the phone numbers and, you know, want to work for him,” Melania described. “And they know he’s married. They do it in front of me.”
Among the women who’ve come forward was former PEOPLE writer Natasha Stoynoff, who said that while interviewing Donald and then-pregnant Melania at Mar-a-Lago for a piece about their first wedding anniversary in 2005, the Presidential candidate “pushed” her up against a wall, forcing his tongue down her throat and later insisted that they would “have an affair.”
RELATED VIDEO: Tom Hanks Slams Donald Trump’s ‘Locker Room’ Talk: ‘I’m Offended as a Man’
Donald vehemently denied the allegations last week, saying during a Florida rally that they are “all 100 percent, totally and completely fabricated.”
Melania also vehemently denied Stoynoff’s account. “The story that came out in PEOPLE magazine, the writer she said my husband took her to the room and started kissing her, she wrote in the same story about me that she saw me on 5th avenue, and I said to her ‘Natasha, how come we don’t see you anymore?’ I was never friends with her, I would not recognize her,” she said during her CNN interview. “That never happened, I was never friends with her, I saw her, she interviewed us twice, she came to the wedding, and for that story, that’s it. I would not recognize her on the street or ask her why we don’t see her anymore, so that was another thing like people come out saying lies and not true stuff.”
But PEOPLE Editor in Chief Jess Cagle says in a statement about Stoynoff’s piece, “In this week’s issue of PEOPLE (which hits newsstands in New York on Wednesday), we feature a story that includes at least six named sources who can corroborate Natasha Stoynoff’s account – including one woman (a friend of Natasha’s) who was actually with her when she bumped into Melania Trump on Fifth Ave., as outlined in her story.”
Stoynoff detailed in her story, “That winter, I actually bumped into Melania on Fifth Avenue, in front of Trump Tower as she walked into the building, carrying baby Baron. ‘Natasha, why don’t we see you anymore?’ she asked, giving me a hug.”
Throughout the election and recent scandals, the billionaire businessman explained that he and Melania are “stronger today than they ever were before,” and she couldn’t agree more.
“We always have a great marriage and strong relationship and he said many times, that I’m the rock for the whole family,” Melania told Cooper. “And yes, we are very strong, we are two independent people thinking on their own, and have a very open conversation, and I think that’s very healthy for the relationship.”
And if there was one thing she wanted the American public to know about Donald, Melania said: “That my husband is kind, and he’s a gentleman, and he would never do that. That everything was organized and put together to hurt him, to hurt his candidacy.”