Melania Trump has rarely come out of the shadows of this presidential election to speak up on her husband Donald Trump’s behalf, making her recent interview with Anderson Cooper a unique moment — and it was all to do damage control for Trump bragging to Billy Bush in 2005 about how he could sexually assault women whenever he wants because he’s famous.
The interview itself was a puzzler, thanks to Melania Trump justifying her husband’s behavior by saying that it was Bush who made the whole thing happen, and that her focus as first lady would be to combat negativity on social media, an interest her husband currently relishes. But it at least gave The Late Show With Stephen Colbert an opportunity to tap Laura Benanti’s Melania impression one more time.
"There is no one else in the room coaching me," Benanti-as-Melania promised at the top of the segment, winking off camera.
"Have you forgiven your husband?" Colbert asked.
"Ehhhhh," Benanti grimaced, before looking back off camera and getting a cue that made her perk back up. "Yes! Apparently!"
From there, Colbert asked her about the idea of "locker room talk," the sexual assault allegations lobbed against her husband, and why his campaign keeps insisting that the election is rigged. Every time, it came down to Billy Bush.
Who’s rigging the election? "The left-wing media, international bankers, and Billy Bush."
What does "locker room talk" actually mean? "I did not know this, but when American men gather to sport, they always speak of grabbing women by the Billy Bush."
Why does she use a "boys will be boys" justification for Donald Trump’s comments when he’s 70 years old? "Boys, men, it's the same. No matter how nice they seem, they're all foul-mouthed, Billy Bush–grabbing pigs."
It’s almost too bad that Melania hasn’t been more of a feature in this election, if only for Benanti’s pitch-perfect impression. But hey, at least we got this one laugh break before we have to white-knuckle it through one last(!) debate.