‘They’re Lies’ | Melania Trump Rejects Women’s Claims of Assault

MAGGIE HABERMAN – ASHLEY PARKER Tuesday, October 18, 2016

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Good Tuesday morning.
Melania Trump, who has been all but invisible as her husband confronts a campaign crisis over allegations that he sexually assaulted women, emerged on Monday to forcefully defend him and question the honesty of the women making the accusations.
Ms. Trump, in an extensive interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper, said the women who had accused Donald J. Trump of groping and kissing them were lying, and she likened her husband to a teenage boy who engages in macho boasting.
She echoed her husband’s complaint that he was the victim of a broad conspiracy between the news media and Hillary Clinton’s campaign.
“I believe my husband, I believe my husband — it was all organized from the opposition,” Ms. Trump said. “They can never check the background of these women. They don’t have any facts.”
Her appearance comes as Mr. Trump and his aides grapple with the worst stretch of the campaign so far, after the airing 10 days ago of an “Access Hollywood” recording from 2005 that captured Mr. Trump bragging to the host Billy Bush that he kissed women without invitation and that he can grab women’s genitals because he is a “star.”
Ms. Trump, 46, called the exchange between Mr. Trump and Mr. Bush “boy talk,” and she said that Mr. Trump had been “egged on” by the host “to say dirty and bad stuff.”
But she emphasized that she believed Mr. Trump was simply being boastful and did not engage in the behavior he described.
“Sometimes I say I have two boys at home: I have my young son, and I have my husband,” she said with a slight laugh. “But I know how some men talk, and that’s how I saw it, yes.”
Mr. Trump’s aides have been eager for his third wife to make a public show of support for him, especially after the “Access Hollywood” recording dominated several media cycles and drove some Republican elected officials to abandon his candidacy.
Ms. Trump has never enjoyed the political stage, and was stung by news media coverage in July, when it was revealed that her anticipated Republican National Convention speech borrowed lines from Michelle Obama’s 2008 address to the Democratic National Convention. She has been absent from the campaign trail since, save for brief appearances at the first two general election debates, and has been spending time with the couple’s young son, Barron.
She put out a written statement of support for her husband after the tape surfaced. But with Mr. Trump’s favorability among women perilously low, his advisers wanted Ms. Trump to do more.
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