The Tony winner reprised the role of GOP nominee Donald Trump‘s wife on Tuesday’s Late Show with Stephen Colbert.
Benanti, 37, previously parodied Melania’s plagiarism scandal after the Republican National Convention in July. This time, she reenacted her recent CNN interview with Anderson Cooper, in which Melania defended her husband over his leaked tape scandal after 2005 footage exposed him making lewd and graphic comments about women with Billy Bush. (Melania, 46, insisted the comments were just “boy talk.”)
“It’s been 11 days since we heard Donald Trump on the Grope-Town Express, and a lot of people have distanced themselves from Donald Trump — at least one arm’s length,” said host Stephen Colbert. “But one person out there is standing by him. His wife, a strategic eyeshadow reserve, Melania Trump.”
Colbert then welcomed “live via satellite, Melania Trump” — a.k.a. Benanti, decked out in a similar outfit Melania wore during the interview, as well as near-identical hair and makeup.
“I want you to know we are completely alone,” Benanti said, putting on a thick accent. “There is no one else in the room coaching me.”
Benanti went on to insist she’s a “private person” and that her “life is not a photo op” — all while flipping her hair, pursing her lips and posing fiercely.
“Why are we talking about me? We need to talk about important issues facing our nation — like how the election is rigged,” continued Benanti.
When Colbert brought up the topic of Trump’s leaked tape, Benanti insisted she told her husband his words were inappropriate.
“Plus, he said them on a bus,” she added with a grimace. “Disgusting.”
Colbert then asked whether she had forgiven her husband, and Benanti shook her head before catching someone’s eyes off-camera and quickly began nodding instead.
“He explained it was locker room talk,” said Benanti. “I did not know this, but when American men gather to sport, they always brag of grabbing women by the Billy Bush.”
Colbert asked about the numerous women that have come forward and accused Trump of sexual misconduct.
“Those are all lies, Stephen,” said Benanti. “Except for the ones where there’s videotape. Then, it’s locker room talk.”
“How is it locker room talk walking in on pageant contestants?” asked Colbert, 52.
“Uh, it’s a women’s locker room?” said Benanti.
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“I hate to point this out, but your husband isn’t a boy, he’s a 70-year-old man,” Colbert continued.
“Boys, men — it’s the same,” Benanti replied. “No matter how nice they seem, secretly they’re all foul-mouthed Billy Bush-grabbing pigs. … They’re all animals. If only a woman could be president.”
The Late Show with Stephen Colbert airs weeknights (11:35 p.m. ET) on CBS.