Saturday 18 January 2020

Sexist remarks 'just boy talk,' says Trump's wife

Melania Trump sits down with CNN television host Anderson Cooper during an exclusive interview in New York. Photo: Reuters
Melania Trump sits down with CNN television host Anderson Cooper during an exclusive interview in New York. Photo: Reuters
Melania Trump
Billy Bush
Donald Trump and his wife Melania
US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at an event in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. AFP/Getty Images

Barney Henderson in New York

Melania Trump has given a steadfast defence of her husband in the wake of multiple sexual assault allegations and dismissed the lewd video revelation as "boy talk".

Mrs Trump has been virtually silent on the campaign trail since she was widely mocked for her convention speech in July, which was plagiarised from Michelle Obama's 2008 address.

However, she was thrust back into the limelight, doing two interviews with CNN and Fox News in which she repeated that Donald Trump's comments had been "inappropriate" but that they are "moving on".

Mrs Trump said that Billy Bush had "egged on" her husband during the 2005 footage into "dirty and bad stuff".

"I said to my husband that you know the language was unappropriate [sic]," she told CNN's Anderson Cooper. "It's not acceptable and I was surprised, because that is not the man that I know.

"And as you can see from the tape, the cameras were not on. It was only a mic. And I wonder if they even knew that the mic was on. Because they were kind of - ah - boy talk.

Donald Trump insists the November 8 election could be rigged 'at the polling booths' (AP)
Donald Trump insists the November 8 election could be rigged 'at the polling booths' (AP)

"And he was led on. Like egg on from the host to say dirty and bad stuff." She also said: "Don't feel sorry for me, I can handle everything."

In the interview, Mrs Trump blamed the Clinton campaign for the way sexual assault allegations against both Mr Trump and Bill Clinton have dominated the election run-in - rather than policies and leadership.

"They're asking for it. They started...they started from the beginning of the campaign, putting [out] my picture from modelling days.

"That was my modelling days and I'm proud what I did. I worked very hard."

She added that she did not believe the women accusing her husband of sexual assault.

"All the allegations should be handled in a court of law," she said.

Read More:

Meanwhile, NBC News last night announced that it had fired Billy Bush from his job as a presenter on the 'Today Show'.

Bush (pictured inset) was suspended from the morning show two days after contents of the 2005 tape were reported on October 7.

NBC and Bush's representatives had been negotiating terms of his exit before Monday's announcement.

Bush, the nephew of former president George HW Bush, said he was "embarrassed and ashamed" by the video.

Meanwhile, bolstered by several opinion polls that have her leading in key swing states, Hillary Clinton's campaign spoke bullishly yesterday about making Democrat gains in traditional Republican states.

Aides said Mrs Clinton would be "dramatically expanding" her campaigning in Arizona.

Michelle Obama, who has been a key weapon for the Clinton camp at both the convention and subsequent events, will speak in Phoenix tomorrow.

"Donald Trump is becoming more unhinged by the day, and that is increasing prospects for Democrats further down the ballot," campaign manager Robby Mook said.

Indiana and Missouri - which have voted Republican for decades - are also being targeted as states where Democrats could make gains.

Yesterday Mrs Clinton faced revelations about her use of a private server as secretary of state after the release of emails from a top campaign official's personal account.

The FBI documents showed Patrick Kennedy, an under- secretary of state, had asked the FBI to declassify or lower the classification of one Clinton email that had been rated "secret".

The Trump campaign accused Mrs Clinton of colluding with US authorities to "cover up criminal activity".

Mr Trump said at a rally in Wisconsin last night that the new FBI records were worse than Watergate.

"This is one of the great miscarriages of justice in the history of our country," he said.

Mrs Clinton was reportedly said to be "p****d" at the constant flow of hacked emails from WikiLeaks.

Bill Clinton was also "having a hard time" at the re-emergence of his sex scandals, according to aides who spoke to Politico.

As the campaign gets murkier by the day, Mr Trump turned his sights on Joe Biden, highlighting what was claimed as being the vice president's "long history of groping".

The Republican retweeted a video posted by journalist Mark Simone titled: 'Watch Joe Biden's Long History Of Grabbing, Kissing and Groping Women Who Are Cringing.'

Mr Biden has in the past been labelled as "handsy" for being too tactile with women at various events.

With regards to the contest itself, a majority of polls have Mrs Clinton leading comfortably nationwide and in most key swing states. However, a political science professor at Stony Brook University and leading election forecaster has warned that all may not be as it seems.

In an article for 'The Hill' titled 'You can't trust polls: Clinton leads, but our polling methods are bunk', Prof Helmut Norpoth wrote: "Having an opinion and acting on it are two different things. Barely six in 10 voting-age American citizens turn out for presidential elections.

"Ascertaining the opinions of 100 citizens is just a start. Now you have to determine which 60 of them actually take the time to mark a ballot.

"They are the "likely voters". They are the only ones that count. But to find them is no easy chore."

It is important to remember pollsters incorrectly forecast last year's British general election and the Brexit referendum, as well as recent elections in Turkey, Canada, and Israel.

Mr Trump yesterday railed against what he claimed was large-scale voter fraud and suggested it will affect the outcome of the presidential race.

His comments raised further fears that the Republican may refuse to recognise the election result and he also appeared, once again, to be at odds with his running mate, Mike Pence.

"Of course there is large scale voter fraud happening on and before election day," Mr Trump said. Mr Pence had said recently: "We will absolutely accept the results of the election."

Chris Ashby, Republican campaign lawyer, said Mr Trump's charges could foment unrest and were "unfounded" and "dangerous".

"When you say an election is rigged, you're telling voters, your supporters, their votes do not matter," Mr Ashby said in an interview. "I think some of Donald Trump's comments could cause unrest at the polls."

Last night Mr Trump vowed to "end government corruption" if he is elected to the White House.

Speaking in Wisconsin he said he wants to ban executive branch officials from lobbying the government for five years after they leave the White House and wants Congress to do the same for members and their staffs.

It was reported yesterday what a massive pay cut Mr Trump would be taking next month should he win the race and be hired for a job which pays a not-too-shabby $400,000 (€364,000) a year. According to one estimate, Trump earns more than $470m a year from his various activities.

So even allowing for some complicated trust arrangement which sees the business run by his family, the Republican nominee's wallet would take a bit of a battering if he wins the election. (© Daily Telegraph London)

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Editors Choice

Also in World News