Melania Trump defended her husband from charges that he joked about sexual assault on a recently unearthed tape by saying that a man who gets along so well with sexually aggressive women wouldn’t joke about assault.
During the Monday night interview, CNN’s Anderson Cooper asked if she thought the remarks on tape, which infamously featured the reality TV star saying he kisses women without their consent and grabs them “by the pussy,” made light of sexual assault.
“No, that’s not sexual assault,” Trump replied. “He didn’t say he did it.”
She went on to say her husband skillfully manages women who are too forward toward him – even in the presence of his wife – to further support her claim.
“I see many, many women coming to him and giving phone numbers and, you know, want[ing] to work for him – inappropriate stuff from women. And they know he’s married,” Trump said.
“You’ve seen that?” Cooper asked.
“Oh yes, of course. It was in front of me,” Trump said. “In front of me. And I’ve said, like, ‘Why did you give your number to my husband?’”
She also disagreed with Michelle Obama, who recently offered a powerful denouncement of Donald Trump’s rhetoric, saying that groping or kissing a woman without her consent is not sexual assault.
“Every assault should be taken care of in a court of law. And to accuse, no matter who it is, a man or a woman, without evidence is damaging and unfair,” she said.
It was an awkward exchange during an interview where Trump sought to continue the campaign’s work discrediting the women who have accused her husband of sexual assault and other inappropriate behavior in recent weeks.
When asked specifically about those claims, Trump replied she believes her husband and plainly suggested the allegations were part of an “organized” conspiracy by the media and Hillary Clinton’s campaign to smear her husband ahead of Election Day.
“Did they check background of these women? Don’t have any facts,” she told Cooper.