Melania Gives First Interviews After Sexual Misconduct Claims Against Trump

Melania Trump has given her first interviews to Fox News and CNN in the wake of a flood of sexual misconduct accusations against her husband Donald Trump.

Melania Trump sat down on Monday with CNN’s Anderson Cooper for an interview set to air at 8 p.m. ET. She also sat down with Fox News host Ainsley Earhardt for an interview set to preview at 5 p.m. ET and air in full during “Fox And Friends” on Tuesday.

During the interview with Earhardt, Melania Trump discussed her response to comments her husband made on a hot mic in 2005. In the recording, Donald Trump bragged about being able to do “anything” as a result of his fame, including grabbing women “by the pussy.”

Melania Trump also discussed the relevance of such past comments to the election, saying that the media is “asking for it” by bringing up her own past modeling work.

The interviews are the first in months for the potential future first lady. Her last major appearance was at the Republican National Convention in July, where a significant portion of her prime-time speech appeared to be lifted from remarks delivered by Michelle Obama in 2008.

Since the convention, she has kept a low profile, but issued a statement after Trump’s 2005 comments were leaked to the press calling them “unacceptable and offensive,” but saying that they did not reflect his treatment of women.

“This does not represent the man that I know,” she wrote.

Donald Trump went on to deny that he had ever acted on his comments in the second presidential debate. That denial apparently prompted several women to come forward and level sexual misconduct allegations against him in the following days, accusing the GOP presidential nominee of groping and kissing them without their consent.

Melania Trump’s lawyers then sent a letter to People magazine, threatening to sue the publication and one of its writers, who wrote a first-person account alleging that Donald Trump forcibly kissed her in 2005.

While Fox News is generally friendly territory for the Trumps, the choice of “Anderson Cooper 360” as the venue for one of Melania Trump’s first interviews amid the spate of sexual misconduct allegations is an interesting one given that the GOP nominee has repeatedly railed against CNN for its “biased” coverage, nicknaming it “the Clinton News Network.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Esme Cribb is social media editor for TPM in New York City. She graduated from City College, where she was editor-in-chief of The Campus, and has previously interned and written for MSF and Contently. She can be found on Twitter @emquiry and reached by email at esme@talkingpointsmemo.com
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