Melania Trump says her husband was “egged on” in the 2005 tape in which he made lewd comments about his own sexually aggressive behavior toward women — remarks she says were “boy talk.”
“I said to my husband that, you know, the language was inappropriate. It’s not acceptable. And I was surprised, because that is not the man that I know,” the wife of the Republican presidential nominee said in an exclusive interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper, which is set to air at 8 p.m. ET Monday.
“And as you can see from the tape, the cameras were not on — it was only a mic. And I wonder if they even knew that the mic was on,” she said, referring to Trump and NBC’s “Access Hollywood” host Billy Bush.
She said they were engaged in “boy talk, and he was led on — like, egged on — from the host to say dirty and bad stuff.”
It was the first on-camera defense Melania Trump has made of her husband since the tape was published by The Washington Post more than a week ago. Since then, Donald Trump has faced accusations of sexual misconduct from women who say he has kissed or groped them without permission over a period of decades. The Republican nominee has denied these accusations.
She said she hadn’t heard her husband use the kind of language that was used on the tape.
“No. No, that’s why I was surprised, 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,” Melania Trump said.
“I heard many different stuff — boys talk,” she said. “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.”
It was the first time Melania Trump had weighed in beyond a written statement on the 2005 “Access Hollywood” tape.
“The words my husband used are unacceptable and offensive to me. This does not represent the man that I know,” she said in that statement. “I hope people will accept his apology, as I have.”
Melania Trump has also threatened a lawsuit against People magazine over a first-person account of one of the allegations, disputing the writer’s description of a meeting with the potential first lady.
Melania Trump has kept a lower public profile through much of the campaign. In the past she has said she’s urged her husband to be “more presidential.”