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Melania Trump Defends Her Husband’s Behavior Toward Women; Says Sexual Assault Allegations are ‘Lies’

Melania Trump has stepped forward to defend her husband Donald Trump after multiple accusations of him sexually assaulting women have surfaced over the past week. Melania spoke with Anderson Cooper in a CNN interview to share her opinion of the women linked to these accusations, and try to improve her husband’s public image—which has taken a serious beating since an Access Hollywood tape of Trump making inappropriate comments emerged over a week ago.

“I believe my husband,” she told Cooper. “This [the allegations] was all organized from the opposition. And with the details…did they ever check the background of these women? They don’t have any facts.”

Melania specifically called out Natasha Stoynoff, the PEOPLE writer who published her story of an encounter with Trump in the magazine. Stoynoff was interviewing Trump a year after he married Melania when he took her into his room and began kissing her. Stoynoff wrote that after she distanced herself from Trump following the incident, Melania ran into her and asked why they never saw her anymore—a claim Melania denies. “I was never friends with her,” Melania told Cooper. “I would not recognize her.” 

When discussing the Access Hollywood tape, Melania also said that her husband and host Billy Bush’s conversation was “boy talk” and that Bush likely “egged on” Trump to talk so inappropriately. “Sometimes I say I have two boys at home: I have my young son, and I have my husband,” she said, laughing. “But I know how some men talk, and that’s how I saw it, yes.”

However, she also admitted to being surprised when the tape came out, claiming that she never heard Trump use that kind of language and that he’s a gentleman. While the majority of the footage discussed Melania’s thoughts about her husband’s scandals, she also took the opportunity to share what national issues she’s passionate about. “Social media is very damaging for the children,” she told Cooper. “We need to guide them and teach them about social media.”

This interview marks the first time since Melania’s controversial Republican National Convention speech in July that she has taken an active role in Trump’s campaign. The New York Times reports that, with Trump’s favorability dropping dangerously, campaign advisers want Melania to participate more. But Melania hinted in Cooper’s interview that she has very little control over what Trump chooses to do, saying, “I give him many advice, but sometimes he listens, sometimes he doesn’t, and he will do what he wants to do at the end, and I will do what I want to do.”

Kristen Perrone is a Siena College Class of 2018 alumna. She studied English during her time at Siena.