First lady Melania Trump said women who want to make accusations of sexual misconduct or sexual assault “need to have really hard evidence” in a recently taped interview, echoing a statement she made in October 2016 amid sexual assault allegations leveled against her husband.
“If you accuse (someone) of something, show the evidence,” Trump said in a sit-down interview with ABC News.
“I support the women and they need to be heard,” she said in an interview that took place in Kenya last week during her first major solo trip to Africa. “We need to support them and, you know, also men, not just women.”
She added that women who come forward as victims should be prepared to back up their claims.
“I do stand with women, but we need to show the evidence. You cannot just say to somebody, ‘I was sexually assaulted,’ or, ‘You did that to me,’ because sometimes the media goes too far, and the way they portray some stories it’s, it’s not correct, it’s not right,” said Trump.
"I do stand with women. But we need to show the evidence."
— TicToc by Bloomberg (@tictoc) October 10, 2018
When over a dozen women came forward during the 2016 presidential campaign to accuse then-candidate Trump of misbehavior ranging from sexual harassment to sexual assault, Melania Trump told CNN’s Anderson Cooper: “Every assault should be taken care of in a court of law. And to accuse, no matter who it is, a man or a woman, without evidence is damaging and unfair.”
“This was all organized from the opposition. And with the details … did they ever check the background of these women? They don’t have any facts,” she said at the time.
The women came forward in the wake of a 2005 “Access Hollywood” tape that was released in October 2016 in which Trump was caught saying: “And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. … Grab them by the p***y. You can do anything.”
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders has dismissed all the allegations against Trump as old news and characterized his accusers as liars.