Speaking out

Melania Trump gives 1st interview since lewd tape of husband leaked

Melania Trump (R) with her husband Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump at Washington University on October 9, 2016 in St Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Ten days after a 2005 hot mic tape of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump using vulgar language and boasting about grabbing women “by the pussy” emerged, his wife Melania Trump is breaking her silence in a pair of new interviews. Trump spoke with Ainsley Earhardt of Fox News and Anderson Cooper of CNN, and for the first time besides a brief written statement, discussed the tape and the flurry of allegations that have followed. Since the tape was leaked to The Washington Post on October 7, several women have come forward accusing the Republican nominee of sexually aggressive behavior over the years.

In the interview with Earhardt, Trump reacted to the words she heard her husband uttering on tape in conversation with then-host of Access Hollywood Billy Bush. “Those words, they were offensive to me and they were inappropriate. And he apologized to me,” Trump said. “I accept his apology. And we are moving on.”

When Earhardt asked how, from her perspective as a woman, listening to the tape made her feel, Trump’s response was, “This is not the man that I know. This is — we could see, as I always said, as my husband said, as well, for a successful businessman, entrepreneur, entertainer to achieving so much in his life, being in so many shows, so many tapes, it’s very hard to run for public office.”

Trump made similar remarks in her interview with Anderson Cooper, and blamed Billy Bush for his role in the mess, saying that her husband was “egged on” by the host. She, similar to her husband, dismissed the words as “boy talk” and added, “I wonder if they even knew that the mic was on.”

The topic of the Clintons also came up in the interview with Fox News. Earhardt asked if her husband’s strategy to resurrect Bill Clinton’s sexual history in a bid to discredit Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton was fair. Trump replied, “Well, if they bring up my past, why not?” Earhardt asked whether the Clintons had “asked for” such a strategy to be deployed. “They’re asking for it. They started,” Trump said. “They started from the  — from the beginning of the campaign putting my — my picture from modeling days. That was my modeling days and I’m proud what I did. I worked very hard.” Trump was apparently referring to a nude photo of her that was used as an internet meme by a pro-Ted Cruz super pac during the Republican primary process — a move that stoked controversy for what many saw as “slut shaming.” Below, watch a clip from CNN’s interview with her.

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