First Lady defends husband, hits out at critics

US First Lady Melania Trump promises to remain true to herself, "no matter what the opposition is saying" and says she is committed to improving the lives of "women and children" around the world.
Mr Trump and his wife Melania at the rally, where the First Lady issued a scathing rebuke of his enemies and her critics.
Mr Trump and his wife Melania at the rally, where the First Lady issued a scathing rebuke of his enemies and her critics.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

MELBOURNE (Florida) • First Lady Melania Trump, usually a demure and soft-spoken presence at her husband's side, broke with form last Saturday, reciting the Lord's Prayer before issuing a scathing rebuke of his enemies and her critics at a campaign-style stop in Florida.

Preceding her husband on the dais at a rally in the city of Melbourne, the First Lady started her remarks with the words "let us pray", before beginning her recitation of the well-known Christian prayer.

She then launched into an uncharacteristically strident defence of her husband - and her own brief tenure as First Lady.

"The America we envision is one that works for all Americans and where all Americans can work and succeed," she said.

"I will always stay true to myself and be truthful to you, no matter what the opposition is saying about me," she added.

 
 

"I will act in the best interests of all of you. I'm committed to creating and supporting initiatives dear to my heart, which will have impact on women and children all around the world," she said.

"My husband is creating a country of great safety, and prosperity," she added, before introducing President Donald Trump, ceding the podium to cheers and applause.

Mrs Trump has been a rare presence with her husband since the inauguration. She has decided to continue living in New York until their 10-year-old son Barron finishes the school year.

Meanwhile, after pressure from US lawmakers, the White House will reopen to the public early next month, nearly seven weeks after Mr Trump became president. Some members of Congress had been complaining about the long delay in restarting tours that had been suspended since Mr Trump's inauguration on Jan 20, with some critics blaming the delays on Mrs Trump's extended absence.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 20, 2017, with the headline 'First Lady defends husband, hits out at critics'. Print Edition | Subscribe