I saw some footage of an interview with Melania Trump tonight. She spoke about how repulsive Trump’s words were in that tape. But she makes two defenses I found…well…troubling.
First she notes that she thinks Trump did not know the mic was hot and Billy Bush egged him on. It is pretty clear that Billy Bush was going right along with Trump. They both laugh about the ability to assault women and those women will allow it if you are a celebrity.* But Trump not knowing the mic was hot is not any defense at all. What, he would have avoided being a sleazebag? That is pretty debatable if you have heard him on his visits to the Howard Stern Show. But he would have still said it. It not being recorded would not make it acceptable. And honestly? When his defense against sexual assault is “she is not good looking enough to assault!” He is essentially saying there are women he would consider assaulting, if they were attractive enough. Which undermines his defense. And so, we really cannot be surprised he has said terrible things regarding women. And if you think this is the worst he has ever said?
Second, she states that the man who spoke those words is not the man she knows. I am really sympathetic on this one. Countless women have believed they were married to a good man who treated them well. And then, that image is given a real black eye, because they find out their husband treated other women very differently. Women have discovered their husbands were harassing women in his office, assaulting women. Raping women. And that has to be both shocking and devastating. How can this guy that seemed so good with them be doing things ranging from scummy to sick crimes? It sucks to find that out. But just because you did not know it? Doesn’t mean it is not a part of who he is. There are models that contact wives and girlfriends let them know that their guys are sending out dick pics and crude sexual messages to the models. To say that this side is not the man she knows is not proof of anything other than he hid it from his wife pretty well.
I feel bad for her, because this is a tough spot to be in. But these comments do not present any defense for Trump. The audio recording (which occurred after he and Melania were married) happened, regardless of how he spoke to or around Melania.
I also find it interesting how this so mirrors the Clinton runs of 1992-2001… vehement denial in the face of accusations…affairs… claims of conspiracy against the candidate…and now the wife steps forward to convince us that the candidate is not as bad as the information and accusations seem to make them out to be. Melania also claims that it is acceptable to go after Trump because “they started it”. (Trump is not the only family member making third grade arguments) She is referring to modeling pictures that were used against her during the primaries. But there is no evidence that Democrats or Hillary was behind that.
*Some have tried to argue this means it was all consensual activity. And yes, there are women who probably have no problem with a celebrity doing such things. But some women allow it because they have no idea what to do and are scared that if they say anything the powerful celebrity will destroy them.