Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump was apparently “egged on” by Billy Bush when he made lewd comments while chatting with the “Access Hollywood” host back in 2005, Melania Trump told CNN on Monday.
In an interview with Anderson Cooper, Melania said her husband was engaging in “boy talk” in the recently unearthed tape, but added that she was surprised by the remarks.
“… And he was led on -- like, egged on -- from the host to say dirty and bad stuff,” Melania told Cooper.
Melania also reiterated her claim that she’d never heard Trump speak in the way he did on the tape.
“I was surprised because that is not the man that I know," she said. "I don’t know that person that would talk that way, and that he would say that kind of stuff in private,” she told Cooper.
Trump has also been accused of sexual assault by seven women since the tape made headlines, but Melania defended her husband.
"This was all organized from the opposition," she said. "Did they ever check the background of these women? They don't have any facts."
Melania specifically denied the accusation from former People Magazine writer Natasha Stoynoff, who accused Trump of kissing her during an interview with the couple in 2005.
"Even the story that came out in People Magazine, the writer, she said that my husband took her to the room and start kissing her," she said. "She wrote in the same story about me -- that she saw me on Fifth Avenue, and I said to her, 'Natasha, how come we don't see you anymore?' I was never friends with her, I would not recognize her."
After the tape was released earlier this month, Melania had issued a written statement that called her husband’s words “unacceptable and offensive.”
“This does not represent the man that I know,” she said in the statement. “He has the heart and mind of a leader. I hope people will accept his apology, as I have, and focus on the important issues facing our nation and the world.”
With just weeks until Election Day, Trump has repeatedly denied the sex assault claims and described the 2005 tape as “locker room talk” during the second presidential debate against Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.