Melania Trump told Anderson Cooper that her husband Donald Trump's infamous “grab them by the pussy” comment in the leaked Access Hollywood tape was “egged on” by Billy Bush in what she called “boy talk.” In her interview Monday night on Anderson Cooper 360, Melania also discussed the recent sexual assault allegations women have made against Trump and how the election is rigged, something Trump has been saying and that many of his followers, against all available evidence, are starting to believe.
Asked about the controversial Access Hollywood tape—which has, among other things, caused GOP donors to seek refunds—Melania said it was “boy talk.” Similarly, Trump has called the comments “locker room talk,” prompting responses from actual athletes in actual locker rooms. Melania said she had a conversation with Trump after the tape leaked and told him his comments were “not appropriate and not acceptable.” Despite calling it “boy talk” and saying that she’s heard “boy talk” before, Melania said she was surprised because she hadn’t heard Trump use that language. “I don’t know that person that would talk that way,” she said. However, she said Trump did apologize for the tape and she accepted his apology, calling him a “gentleman who supports women.” She then blamed former Access Hollywood host Billy Bush, saying he “egged on” Trump to say “dirty” and “bad stuff.”
Foreshadowing what she would later say about the election being rigged, Melania questioned why the tape was leaked three weeks before the election. She blamed NBC and Access Hollywood for organizing the timed leak. It was reported that NBC had the tape longer than the network said it did but waited to release the tape.
Melania Trump blames left wing media for the release of the 2005 tape: "I was not surprised that the tape came out" https://t.co/8cfJM9cH2s— Anderson Cooper 360° (@AC360) October 18, 2016
Asked about the past week’s sexual assault allegations women have made against her husband, Melania said she hasn’t been surprised because “a lot of people are against my husband.” Melania said she believed her husband, adding that the accusers don’t have any “facts” or “evidence” about the alleged assaults. She attempted to discredit a People writer’s assault allegation, saying that the reporter also wrote about a non-existent account with Mrs. Trump in the same story. Melania also said Trump is merely being “raw” and “defending himself” when he’s suggesting that the women who said they were assaulted were too ugly to assault.
Melania Trump defends her husband in her first interview since leaked 2005 video, calling the accusations "lies" https://t.co/nk1nswEVXl— Anderson Cooper 360° (@AC360) October 18, 2016
Although Melania said she agreed with Michelle Obama’s definition of sexual assault (which she discussed while condemning Trump’s “sexually predatory behavior”) as being any sexual advances done without consent, Melania said she didn’t think Trump’s taped comments were assault.
Here's how some people responded to Melania's interview.
I’ve been involved in a lot of “locker room talk.” I’ve never heard a man defend assault or rape and if I did I would never high five that.— Touré (@Toure) October 18, 2016