The media focus on Melania Trump’s first solo interview since becoming first lady may have been her answers to questions regarding her husband’s alleged infidelities or her “I Don’t Really Care, Do U?” jacket.
However, for those looking at the interview in toto, it showed why conservatives love her. What was on display in the interview with ABC News was a strong first lady who was as willing to push back when it comes to her husband as she is with the media.
Take the issue of separating families found crossing the southern border illegally. While the president and his administration have obviously been in favor of the practice at points — seeing it as necessary to combat the practice of adults bringing children on a dangerous journey — the first lady seemed to come out against it.
“It was unacceptable for me to see children and parents separated. It was heartbreaking. And I reacted with my own voice,” Melania said of her visit to children affected by the policy.
During the interview, which took place during the first lady’s visit to Africa, she was also asked about the backlash to her anti-cyberbullying initiative — particularly given her husband’s penchant for getting on Twitter.
“I don’t agree always (with) what he posts, but his action is his action, and I tell him that,” Melania said.
“I know I will be hit with criticism to talk about cyberbullying, but it will not stop me to do what is right.”
When it comes to her sartorial choices, meanwhile, she had a strong message to the media: “I wish people would focus on what I do, not what I wear,” she said.
She also confirmed the “I Don’t Really Care, Do U?” jacket was aimed at the “left-wing media.”
Here’s part of the interview, which was originally aired Friday:
The interview touched upon the kind of person that the first lady is, as well.
“I’m very strong, and I know what my priorities are,” she said. “I want to live a meaningful life, and that’s the most important to me.”
She also said she’s not looking to ingratiate herself among the Washington set.
“I have the same group of friends I had before” back in New York, Melania said. “And I always prefer quality over quantity.”
Yes, the infidelity stuff was always going to make the headlines, although I must express some level of wonder that the pith helmet really got some people annoyed.
However, the whole interview made it clear that Melania is a strong person who’s putting her own stamp on the first lady’s office.
You may not agree with everything she says, but she remains one of the most influential people in American public life for a very good reason.
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