Melania Trump is not her husband, a message she’s been all too reluctant to embrace throughout President Donald Trump’s time in the White House. Last week’s attack on the Capitol by a violent mob of Trump supporters has seen the POTUS censored more than ever before in the final days of his presidency, as administration officials resign en masse and even (some) Republican government officials decry what happened in D.C. FLOTUS Melania, however, had thus far held her tongue, and could have used her response to the riot as a moment to distinguish herself from Donald, his baseless claims of election fraud, and his continued attempts to incite further violence. And while Melania, like all the Trump children, ultimately condemned the violence that took place, the rest of her message parroted husband Donald Trump’s message throughout his presidency to a tee.
In what will likely be one of Melania’s final statements as FLOTUS as the Trump administration winds to an end, she addresses Covid-19 at large before naming the victims of the Capitol attack one by one, and expressing her prayers for their families.
“I am disappointed and disheartened with what happened last week,” she writes next. “I find it shameful that surrounding these tragic events there has been salacious gossip, unwarranted personal attacks, and false misleading accusations on me — from people who are looking to be relevant and have an agenda.”
Do these videos reveal the truth about Melania Trump's feelings towards her husband Donald Trump?https://t.co/xg7nvrNPpj
— SheKnows (@SheKnows) October 23, 2020
This is, kindly put, a confusing stance for Melania to have taken. For one thing, Melania’s name has hardly come up in discussions following the Capitol attack or Donald Trump’s subsequent Twitter ban. (Donald notably did not try to use Melania’s Twitter account to reach the public after his suspension, though he did try to use the accounts of other government officials.) If Melania has been hearing “salacious gossip” and “misleading accusations” about herself in the past week, then frankly, she may be the only one.
That said, claiming to be under attack to deflect attention from the issue at hand is right out of the Trump playbook. Only a mention of the “radical left” could have made her statement more on-brand to the perennially wounded Trump political persona, though the rest of her statement makes it perfectly clear what she considers the true threat at hand to be.
“As an American, I am proud of our freedom to express our viewpoints without persecution,” Melania wrote, assumedly in defense of her husband’s right to use social media. “It is one of the paramount ideals which America is fundamentally built on. Many have made the ultimate sacrifice to protect that right. With that in mind, I would like to call on the citizens of this country to take a moment, pause, and look at things from all perspectives.”
It’s a rich suggestion from someone who appears to have a startlingly difficult time looking beyond her own perspective, as evidenced by the foregrounding of her own alleged attacks. It is also a rich suggestion from someone whose husband was banned from social media for inciting a riot in which five people lost their lives. From all perspectives, we should, as a country, agree that it’s best if that doesn’t happen again.
Finally, just like Donald, Melania ends with a call for unity without addressing any of the discord she’s helped sow over the past four years, or even in this statement alone: “We must listen to one another, focus on what unites us, and rise above what divides us.”
It’s a nice message — in a void, but not in 2021.
Before you go, click here to see quotes that prove Melania Trump is a lot like her husband.