Melania Trump says the language her husband used about women in the now infamous 2005 Access Hollywood tape was "inappropriate" and "not acceptable," but adds that she thinks Donald Trump was "egged on" by host Billy Bush.
Melania Trump's interview with CNN's Anderson Cooper on Monday marked the first time the wife of the Republican nominee has appeared on camera to defend her husband since the tape surfaced and several women accused her husband of sexual misconduct.
She said when she saw the tape, "I was surprised because that is not the man I know."
She said Bush and Trump were engaged in "boy talk" and that Trump was "led on, like egged on, from the host to say dirty and bad stuff."
"As you can see from the tape, the cameras were not on, it was only a mic," she said. "And I wonder if they even knew that the mic was on."
Melania Trump said she hadn't heard her husband use that kind of language before. "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.'"
But, she told Cooper, "I am not surprised in one way, because a lot of people, they are against my husband."
She blamed the "left-wing media" for much of the controversy, calling the press "dishonest" and saying "a lot of lies" have been written about her and her husband. She also said NBC had known about the Access Hollywood tape for a long time but they intentionally waited to release it until they thought it could do the most damage.
"Everything was organized," she said. "Because they want to influence the American people on how to vote."
"I believe my husband," she said. "This was all organized from the opposition... Did they ever check the background of these women?"
She repeated her opinion that the lewd comments were simply "boy talk," reflecting her husband's dismissal of the remarks as "locker room talk."
"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," she said. "But yes, I was surprised, of course."
Melania Trump has demanded an apology and a retraction from People for a story alleging that Donald Trump forcibly kissed Natasha Stoynoff, a writer for the magazine, before a 2005 interview with the couple about their first anniversary. But in the demand there was no mention of the accusation that is center of the story. Instead, Melania Trump demanded that the magazine remove an account where the reporter and Melania Trump ran into each other on the street and had a cordial conversation.
Twitter users jumped on Melania Trump blaming Billy Bush for her husband's sexually aggressive comments about groping and kissing women. A #BillyBushMadeMeDoIt hashtag began trending soon after excerpts from the interview were made public.