Former first lady Melania Trump lashed out Friday at critics, including a school that rejected a donation from her.
Earlier this week, The New York Times found new ways to criticize the former first lady by saying she was trying to “monetize her ties to [former President Donald] Trump, including through a series of online sales.”
The Times followed that up by revealing that a school that teaches advanced computer skills rejected an offer of a donation from her.
Julien Barbier, the chief executive of the California-based Holberton school, said Friday that Melania Trump had tried to donate money to the Tulsa branch of the school.
“We were approached about a scholarship by her team but never reached an agreement on the logistics of the scholarship,” he said, refusing to talk further, according to the Times.
Melania Trump issued a statement to set the record straight.
“Despite my actions, the press continues to publish inaccurate, misleading, and outright incorrect articles about my work. The media has created a narrative whereby I am trying to act in an illegal or unethical manner. That portrayal is simply untrue and adversely affects the children I hope to support,” she wrote in a statement on her website.
“Those who attack my initiatives and create the appearance of impropriety are quite literally dream killers. They have canceled the hopes and dreams of children by trying to cancel me,” she wrote.
“Recently, a computer science school founded in Silicon Valley with a campus in Oklahoma agreed to work with Fostering the Future. Multiple scholarships were going to be granted through the school’s preferred designated fund, based in Tulsa, with the first class of students enrolling in Fall 2022. I had signed the Designated Fund Agreement and was waiting for the countersignature when the school informed me it would no longer participate,” she wrote.
“They would not accept scholarship dollars for deserving students—even as an anonymous gift. It was made clear to me that the school’s Board of Directors organized a politically-motivated decision,” she wrote.
“Obviously, I was disappointed but not surprised. This is not the first time where politics got in the way of my mission to support children. In fact, I tried to galvanize partners to broaden the impact of Be Best while in the White House and was outright rejected. For example, a prospective corporate partner refused an opportunity to further our shared philanthropic goals surrounding my visit to Africa,” she wrote.
“Supporting children is not, and should never be, part of a political agenda. Imagine the opportunities we could create if we all worked together to support our children and committed to helping them fulfill their hopes and dreams,” she wrote.
Melania Trump has developed a plan to auction items related to her husband’s presidency, with funding going through an effort she had branded Fostering the Future that will funnel dollars to organizations working with at-risk children, particularly foster children.
“To avoid confusion, I do not operate a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. In simple terms, “Fostering the Future” is the name of my platform. Fostering the Future is a Be Best initiative. I am working with the Bradley Impact Fund, a donor-advised fund, to select charities that support foster children. The Bradley Impact Fund will disburse funds raised through the efforts of Fostering the Future to the respective beneficiaries,” she wrote.
“With the assistance of various agencies and individuals in the foster care community, we are currently identifying foster children from across our Nation interested in receiving scholarships. These individuals will have the ability to take advantage of the opportunity to learn computer sciences this year,” she wrote,
The statement addressed her attendance at an April event in Florida that sparked criticism from the Times, which wrote, “There was no indication of how much of the proceeds Mrs. Trump herself intended to pocket.”
“I was asked to attend the Tulips and Topiaries High Tea in Naples, Florida, as a Special Guest. The organizers volunteered to support Fostering the Future, and I am pleased that Gen Justice is the recipient of the funds raised surrounding the event. Gen Justice is an award-winning, charitable organization fighting to mend the broken child protection system through nonpartisan policy changes and a pro bono Children’s Law Clinic. Gen Justice is compliant with Florida State registration requirements for 501(c)(3) entities,” she wrote.
Melania Trump ended her statement with a vow that her critics will never get her down.
“I am humbled by the outpouring of generosity, love, and support I have received after the recent false reporting. I will continue to support our children and do whatever it takes, remaining positive in the face of negativity,” she wrote.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.