Melania Trump defends husband against 'damaging and unfair' accusations

Donald Trump's wife makes first foray into media spotlight since surfacing of allegations

Melania Trump defends husband against 'damaging and unfair' accusations

Image via CNN/YouTube

Melania Trump has rejected accusations her husband is sexist and misogynistic, a week after a tape emerged of him making disparaging remarks about women.

Speaking in a series of interviews with US broadcasters CNN and Fox, Donald Trump's wife dismissed his language as inappropriate "boy talk" which did not reflect the man she knew.

"I said to my husband that, you know, the language is inappropriate. It's not acceptable. And I was surprised, because that is not the man that I know," she told CNN, adding "and he apologised to me".

She added Mr Trump may not have been aware his microphone was on during the recording of a television programme in 2005, adding that Access Hollywood host Billy Bush had encouraged her husband.

Mrs Trump also suggested that, as first lady, she could be interested in leading an effort to combat bullying and negativity on social media, not withstanding that her husband frequently uses social media to attack his opponents.

The Republican presidential hopeful faced a further setback to his campaign in recent days as a number of women came forward to allege he had groped or sexually assaulted them.

Accusing the claimants as attention seekers making "damaging and unfair" accusations, Mrs Trump said: "I believe my husband … my husband didn't do anything."

She added it was fair game for Mr Trump to share a platform with women who had accused former president Bill Clinton of sexual assault, claiming the Democrats fired the first volley into the war about the couples' private lives.

It comes as Mr Trump unleashed a fresh wave of attacks on Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and House Speaker Paul Ryan at a rally in Wisconsin, while claiming the "dishonest" media was conspiring against him, as his supporters chanted "CNN sucks".  

Alleging that new FBI records reveal "a criminal act" worse than Watergate, he claimed a senior State Department official asked the FBI to reduce the classification of an email from Mrs Clinton's private server. 

Mr Trump alleged that, according to the records, this was to be part of a bargain that would have allowed the FBI to deploy more agents in foreign countries.

"This is one of the great miscarriages of justice in the history of our country," he told his supporters, adding that the State Department was "trying to cover up Hillary's crimes of sending classified information on a server our enemies could easily access".