The Slatest

Melania Trump: “I’m the Most Bullied Person in the World”

Melania, dressed in white and linen, poses for the camera in front of the Sphinx.
First lady Melania Trump tours the Egyptian pyramids and Sphinx in Giza, Egypt, on Oct. 6, 2018, during the final stop on her 4-country tour through Africa. Saul Loeb/Getty Images

First lady Melania Trump has been traveling in Africa in recent weeks, highlighting her “Be Best” initiative on a tour through Ghana, Malawi, Kenya, and Egypt. During that trip, reporters have described her as looking more relaxed and happy than at any other point since President Trump’s inauguration, but even on what appears to be something of a vacation from the stresses of Washington, she has still managed to stir up controversy.

In a choice that evoked her far more inflammatory “I don’t care” jacket, Trump wore a white pith helmet—a symbol of European colonial rule—on a safari in Kenya on Friday. So she might have had the subsequent criticism on her mind when, when she was asked in an interview with ABC News that was broadcast Thursday why she wanted to start a campaign against cyberbullying, she said, “I could say I’m the most bullied person in the world.”

When pressed, she qualified: “One of them, if you really see what people are saying about me.”

In the same interview, she was also asked whether there were people in her husband’s administration she did not trust. “Yes,” she said.

“It’s harder to govern,” she said. “You always need to watch your back.”

She told ABC News that she had talked to her husband about the people she didn’t trust. But when she was asked if she was—as some have said—someone with control over her husband, she laughed and said, “Oh, I wish.”

“I give him my honest advice and honest opinions,” she said, “and then he does what he wants to do.”