Melania Trump said the language her husband used about women in the now infamous 2005 Access Hollywood tape was "inappropriate" and "not acceptable," but added that she thought Donald Trump was "egged on" by host Billy Bush, during an interview with CNN's Anderson Cooper on Monday.
The interview marked the first time the wife of the Republican nominee has appeared on camera to defend her husband since the tape surfaced and several women accused her husband of sexual misconduct.
Melania Trump said that when she saw the tape, "I was surprised because that is not the man I know."
She said Bush and Trump were engaged in "boy talk" and that Trump was "led on, like egged on, from the host to say dirty and bad stuff."
"As you can see from the tape, the cameras were not on, it was only a mic," she said. "And I wonder if they even knew the mic was on."
Melania Trump said she hadn't heard her husband use that kind of language before. "That's why I was surprised, because I said like, 'I don't know that person that would talk that way and that he would say that kind of stuff in private.'"
She repeated her opinion that the lewd comments were simply "boy talk," reflecting her husband's dismissal of the remarks as "locker room talk."
"The boys, the way they talk when they grow up and they want to sometimes show each other, 'Oh, this and that' and talking about the girls," she said. "But yes, I was surprised, of course."
Melania Trump has demanded an apology and a retraction from People magazine for a story published by Natasha Stoynoff, a writer for the magazine, alleging that Donald Trump forcibly kissed her before a 2005 interview with the couple on their first anniversary.
Twitter users jumped on Melania Trump blaming Billy Bush for her husband's sexually aggressive comments about groping and kissing women. A #BillyBushMadeMeDoIt hashtag began trending soon after excerpts from the interview were made public.