Since an audio tape aired earlier this month showing US presidential candidate Donald Trump telling an Access Hollywood host about how he gets away with assaulting women because he’s “a star,” more than a dozen women have come forward to accuse Trump of some form of sexual harassment, assault, or inappropriate behavior.
In an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper that aired on Monday night (Oct. 17) in the US, Melania Trump defended her husband against the claims, said the women were part of a smear campaign, and blamed the show’s co-host, Billy Bush, for “egging” him on.
“A lot of people are against my husband,” she said. The press is “very dishonest,” she said. “You need to defend yourself all the time.”
Trump said when she first heard the tape, she told her husband “the language is inappropriate, it’s not acceptable,” and added “I was surprised because that was not the man I know.” She then described Trump as being unwillingly pulled into “boy’s talk” by Bush.
“As you can see from the tape, the cameras were not on. It was only a mic. I wonder if they even knew that the mic was on… They were kind of boy talk. He was lead on, egg on, from the host to say dirty and bad stuff.”
“I don’t know the person that would talk that way,” she said.
There was no reason for it to come out now, she added. “Why now? Why after so many years?,” she said. “It was the media, it was NBC, it was Access Hollywood, it was left-wing media,” she said. “It was hour after hour bashing him. They want to influence the American people about how to vote.”
“It is very hard, especially for him, because he did so many stuff in his life. He was on so many tapes, so many shows, and we knew that, that tapes would come out, people would want to go against him,” she said.
“He is kind, a gentleman, he supports everybody, he supports women, he encourages them to go to the highest level, to achieve their dreams, he employs many many women.”
At one point, she compared Bush and her husband to “two teenage boys,” and said she had two boys at home, her “young son and her husband.”
She also said that many women come to Trump, bringing him phone numbers, inappropriately, in front of her, and she confronts them. “Don’t feel sorry for me, I can handle anything,” she said.
Assault accusations should be taken to a court of law, Trump said, and added she didn’t believe his accusers. “This was all organized from the opposition. And with the details that they got… did they ever check the background of these women? They don’t have any facts,” she told Cooper.