POLITICS
10/17/2016 06:54 pm ET Updated Oct 25, 2016

Melania Trump: Billy Bush Egged On Donald 'To Say Dirty And Bad Stuff'

She, and the rest of the GOP nominee's camp, are on the defensive.

Melania Trump has moved past the fact that her husband has bragged about sexually assaulting women. 

She sat down with both CNN and Fox News on Monday to defend Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump against criticisms following the release of 2005 audio in which he talked about grabbing and kissing women without their consent.

Trump, who is typically reluctant to give interviews, called the GOP nominee’s comments “inappropriate” and “unacceptable.” But she blamed former “Access Hollywood” host Billy Bush, who also appeared on the tape, for encouraging her husband to say he could grab women “by the pussy” because he was a celebrity.

“I was surprised, because that is not the man that I know,” she told CNN’s Anderson Cooper. “They were kind of a boy talk, and he was [led] on, like egg[ed] on, by the host to say dirty and bad stuff.”

She compared the exchange between Trump and Bush to “two teenage boys,” saying “they should behave better, right?”

When Cooper pointed out that Trump was 59 at the time, she said, “Correct. Sometimes I said I have two boys at home. I have my young son and I have my husband.” Barron Trump, their son, is 11 years old.

In response to the allegations of sexual assault against her husband, Melania Trump said she believes his blanket denial of all 12 of the women’s claims, and suggested their backgrounds somehow discredit their allegations. “It’s all organized from the opposition,” she said of the blizzard of stories, “and with the details ... did they ever check the background of these women?” 

In a separate interview with Fox News’ Ainsley Earhardt scheduled to air Tuesday, Trump said her husband has “apologized to me, and I accept his apology, and we are moving on.”

She also suggested that the sheer volume of media appearances and interviews Donald Trump as done, first as a well-known businessman and later as host of NBC’s “The Apprentice,” has created a library of potentially embarrassing videotapes.

“As 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,” she told Earhardt.

The Fox News interview airs Tuesday at 6 a.m. 

This story has been updated to include additional information from the CNN interview.

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Editor’s note: Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist and birther who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims — 1.6 billion members of an entire religion — from entering the U.S.

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