Melania Trump on Monday dismissed her husband's sexually aggressive language as "boy talk," insisting his remarks do not reflect "the man I know."
Donald Trump's wife, in a series of media interviews, said she has accepted her husband's apology and the couple is "moving on." The comments come more than a week after the release of a 2005 video in which Trump brags about kissing women and grabbing their genitals without their permission.
"I said to my husband that, you know, the language is inappropriate. It's not acceptable. And I was surprised, because that is not the man that I know," she told CNN.
She suggested that Trump may not have known his microphone was on, calling it "kind of a boy talk" that Access Hollywood host Billy Bush was encouraging.
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Melania said she hadn't heard her husband use that kind of language before and that Trump and Bush were acting like teenage boys, even though Trump was 59 and Bush 33 at the time.
"I sometimes say I have two boys at home, my young son and my husband," she said.
Melania said she doesn't believe the allegations of sexual assault brought against her husband through the media, adding that she has seen women approach him, say "inappropriate" things and give him their phone number.
"Every assault should be taken care of in a court of law," she told CNN's Anderson Cooper. "To accuse without evidence is damaging and it's unfair."
Melania also said it is fair game for her husband to appear with women who have accused former president Bill Clinton of sexual assault, claiming the Democrats fired the first volley into the increasingly ugly war about the couples' private lives.
"They're asking for it. They started. They started from the beginning of the campaign putting my picture from modelling days," she said in excerpts released by Fox News ahead of the interview's broadcast on Tuesday. "That was my modelling days and I'm proud what I did. I worked very hard."
Melania's image was used in a negative ad campaign during the Republican primary, but there is no evidence the Clintons were involved. At the time, Donald Trump accused former rival Ted Cruz of being involved and responded by tweeting an unflattering image of the Texas senator's wife. Cruz also denied involvement.
Keeping a low profile
The interviews are Melania Trump's first moments in the public eye since the accusations over the last 10 days that have sent her husband's White House bid reeling.
First, a 2005 video leaked of Trump using vulgar language to describe women and apparently boasting of sexual assault. And in recent days, several women have come forward to say that Trump had groped or sexually assaulted them.
The Republican nominee has denied the claims, calling the women liars and belittling their appearances.
She said something similar in a statement released by the campaign after the video's release. She has also demanded retractions from a People magazine writer who profiled the couple in 2005 and last week accused Donald Trump of an assault at the couple's Florida home, Mar-a-Lago, while Melania was out of the room.
Melania used the People story as an example of a false claim, saying the writer claimed she had spoken to her afterward on the street in New York, but "I would not recognize her on the street."
Aside from the recent scandal, Melania said she agreed with her husband that the press is dishonest, "full of lies" and wants to damage his campaign.
"He makes a speech for 45 minutes they take a sentence out and they going on and on about that sentence," she said.
Melania has never filled the role of the traditional political spouse, only making rare appearances on the campaign trail. Her speech at July's national convention was initially praised until it was discovered that passages of it were lifted from Michelle Obama's 2008 convention address.
Trump, who attended the first two presidential debates, was also lampooned on this week's Saturday Night Live. The long-running sketch show ran a video in which actresses playing Melania, her two stepdaughters and two of the candidate's most visible female allies did a version of Beyoncé's feminist manifesto Lemonade in an act of rebellion against the candidate.
The video ends with the Cecily Strong, the comedian playing Melania, suggesting she wrote the song herself.