The Slatest

Melania Trump Warns Social Media Can Be “Destructive and Harmful” as Husband Calls People “Thugs,” a “Total Joke”

Melania Trump applauds while sitting down.
Melania Trump participates in a Federal Partners in Bullying Prevention summit on Monday in Rockville, Maryland. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Melania Trump held one of her few Be Best events on Monday at a cyberbullying summit outside Washington, where she warned that adults needed to guide and listen to children when it comes to the dangers of social media.

“Let’s face it, most children are more aware of the benefit and pitfalls of social media than some adults,” she said. “It can be used in many positive ways but can also be destructive and harmful when used incorrectly.”

Shortly before she headed out to the summit, her husband had tweeted the following:

As Melania Trump sat in the audience, listening to a panel of cyberbullying prevention experts, the president sent another tweet:

He followed up with this tweet:

While Melania Trump may not have known that the president would tweet out bullying statements during her anti-bullying event, it would have been a relatively safe assumption.The New York Times has kept track of all the president’s Twitter insults since he declared his candidacy, and it has found that at least 487 “people, places, and things” have been the subject of his public venting.

When the first lady was predictably presented with this contradiction, a spokeswoman released a statement acknowledging the argument. “She is aware of the criticism but it will not deter her from doing what is right,” the statement says. “The President is proud of her commitment to children and encourages her in all that she does.”

Nor was it the first time Melania Trump nodded to but waved away the irony of the situation. In March, at a similar panel, she acknowledged that she had been criticized for tackling cyberbullying as a cause. “I am well aware that people are skeptical of me discussing this topic,” she said.

People who know the Trumps told the New York Times on Friday that even her husband had been aware that his Twitter bullying would expose her to criticism if she focused on bullying, and he reportedly suggested she choose a different cause to push. “She rejected his advice, and publicly said she was willing to face the criticism,” the Times reported.

But that same story also said that Melania Trump finds her husband’s pugnacious style on Twitter “exhausting.” It noted friends have said she has “political views different from her husband’s on some issues” and that she “has at times been frustrated by his inability to compromise.”