In a sit-down with CNN’s Anderson Cooper that is set to air Monday night, the wife of the GOP nominee says that then-Access Hollywood host Billy Bush “egged on” her husband to make “inappropriate” comments about women in 2005.
“I said to my husband that, you know, the language is inappropriate. It’s not acceptable. And I was surprised, because that is not the man that I know,” she said.
Melania questioned whether her husband and Bush “even knew that the mic was on” and chalked their conversation up to “boy talk.”
“And he was led on — like, egged on — from the host to say dirty and bad stuff,” she said.
Melania added that she had never heard her husband use the kind of language he used on the recording, which revealed Donald Trump saying that when you’re a “star” you can “grab [women] by the p—y.”
“That’s why I was surprised,” Melania told Cooper. “Because I said like, I don’t know that person that would talk that way, and that he would say that kind of stuff in private.”
“I heard many different stuff — boys talk,” she continued. “The boys, the way they talk when they grow up and they want to sometimes show each other, ‘Oh, this and that’ and talking about the girls. But yes, I was surprised, of course.”
In another new interview that will air on Fox and Friends Tuesday morning, Melania told Fox News Channel’s Ainsley Earhardt about her reaction to the 2005 tape, and the conversation she had with her husband after it was released on Oct. 7.
“Those words, they were offensive to me and they were inappropriate,” Melania said. “And he apologized to me. And I expect — I accept his apology. And we are moving on.”
“I — this is not the man that I know,” she added. “This is — we could see, as I always said, as my husband said, as well, for a successful businessman, entrepreneur, entertainer to achieving so much in his life, being in so many shows, so many tapes, it’s very hard to run for public office. And he did this anyway. He said, I want to help American people. I want to keep America safe. I want to bring back jobs, bring back economy, so our children, our futures will be the best way possible.”
Melania’s interviews come 10 days after The Washington Post released a leaked 2005 recording of Donald Trump boasting to Bush about kissing and groping women without their consent. The business mogul was married to Melania at the time.
Melania’s comments to Earhardt on Fox and Friends are similar to the statement she issued shortly after the tape was released. “The words my husband used are unacceptable and offensive to me. This does not represent the man that I know,” she said at the time. “He has the heart and mind of a leader. I hope people will accept his apology, as I have, and focus on the important issues facing our nation and the world.”
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Asked by Earhardt whether it was fair for the media to bring up the past indiscretions of Donald Trump or Bill Clinton in the 2016 election, the former model pointed to the New York Post‘s publishing of nude modeling photos of her from the 1990s earlier this year.
“Well, if they bring up my past, why not?” Melania said.
“So they — they’re asking for it?” Earhardt asked.
“They’re asking for it,” Melania replied. “They started from the — from the beginning of the campaign putting my — my picture from modeling days. That was my modeling days and I’m proud what I did. I worked very hard.”