Trump's Supporters Still Downplaying Remarks From 2005 Video

Melania Trump's dismissal of her husband's comments from a 2005 videotape as "boy talk" is the latest effort by Donald Trump's campaign to minimize the damage caused to his bid for the presidency.

In an interview with CNN's Anderson Cooper on Monday, Melania Trump said she had never heard her husband use that kind of language and defended his remarks.

"I heard many different stuff - boys' talk," she said. "The boys, that the way they talk when they grow up and they want to sometimes show each other, oh, this and that and talking about the girls."

"Sometimes I said, I have two boys at home. I have my young son, and I have my husband. So, but, I know how some men talk, and that's how I saw it," she added.

It has been nearly two weeks since video of Donald Trump bragging to then-"Access Hollywood" host Billy Bush about how he can do "anything" to women because he's "a star" was leaked to The Washington Post.

Trump apologized after the release of the video, calling his comments "locker room talk." During his second debate with Hillary Clinton, he expressed regret for his choice of words.

"Yes, I'm very embarrassed by it," he told Cooper, a co-moderator of the debate.

However, several women have since come forward, accusing the Republican nominee of groping and sexually assaulting them. He has adamantly denied these allegations.

Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, a Trump advocate, has dismissed the tape, arguing that Trump's new role has changed him.

"That was then, and this is now," Giuliani said in an Oct. 9 appearance on ABC's "This Week."

The same day on CNN's "State of the Union," Giuliani characterized the Trump of 2005 as "an entertainment star and the star of 'The Apprentice'" and questioned why so many observers felt entitled to judge him.

"And gosh almighty, you know, he who hasn't sin throw the first stone here," said Giuliani. "But the fact is that men, at times, talk like that, not all men, but men do."

Trump's son Eric Trump acknowledged in a radio interview with KNUS in Denver that the comments were "unacceptable" but added the oft-repeated caveat that it could be classified as "locker room banter" and "two alpha guys in a thing."

"It was two alpha guys in a room talking, and listen, it wasn't right," said Eric Trump.

Ben Carson, a former Republican presidential candidate and now a Donald Trump adviser, said on CNN on Oct. 11 that the 2005 comments were "abominable ... but let's move on."

"Call it whatever you need to call it to make it feel good to you," Carson said. "That kind of banter goes around all the time. Is it the right kind of thing to do? Absolutely not."

While working the spin room after the second Clinton-Trump debate, Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama, a Trump foreign policy adviser, told The Weekly Standard that Trump's comments were "very improper language, and he's acknowledged that."

But when asked how he would characterize the behavior that Trump can be heard talking about in the video, Sessions responded, "I don't characterize that as sexual assault. I think that's a stretch."

A spokesman for the senator issued a statement saying Sessions had confused the content of the video with the question posed by the reporter.

"The Weekly Standard's characterization of comments I made following Sunday's presidential debate is completely inaccurate," read the statement. "My hesitation was based solely on confusion of the contents of the 2005 tape and the hypothetical posed by the reporter, which was asked in a chaotic post-debate environment. I regret that it resulted in an inaccurate article that misrepresented my views."
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