For the first six months of Donald Trump’s unlikely and insurgent campaign to win the Republican party’s presidential nomination, the real estate magnate’s wife Melania was pretty much invisible. She gave the occasional interview, but was all but absent from the campaign trail. Early last month she explained she was trying to maintain a normal life for the couple’s 10-year-old son, Baron. As the 2016 race actually entered the calendar year 2016, though, Melania has assumed a much more forward-facing position. She briefly spoke during her husband’s victory speech after he won the South Carolina primary on Saturday, and on Wednesday, she found herself facing MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski for an interview. Brzezinski questioned Melania, a Slovenian immigrant and former fashion model, on her husband’s hard-line stance on immigration, his treatment of women, and a host of other issues. Here are a few highlights:
– Melania, who immigrated to the U.S. in 1996 and, if Trump is elected, would be only the second first lady born outside of the U.S. (John Quincy Adams’s wife Louisa, born in Great Britain, was the first), defended Trump’s position on immigration and the harsh rhetoric he’s used to stake out that position. “I don’t feel he insulted the Mexicans,” she said about the infamous quote during his campaign launch speech. “He said illegal immigrants. He didn’t talk about everybody.” Responding to a question about her own immigration status, Melania said that she went about immigrating legally. “I follow the law. I follow a law the way it was supposed to be.” She added that before she was granted citizenship, she routinely traveled back to Slovenia to have her visa stamped.
– When asked about the salty language her husband has been known for unleashing on the campaign trail, Melania suggested she disapproved of his profanity. “Well, do I agree with him all the time with him? No, I don’t. And I tell him that. I tell him my opinions. I tell him what I think. Sometimes he listens, sometimes he don’t.”
– Regarding Trump’s treatment of women and some of the sexist attacks he has launched against adversaries, most notably former candidate Carly Fiorina and Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly, Melania said, “They’re treated equal,” referring to women employees at her husband’s company, the Trump Organization. “I see him in life, he treats women the same as men. He will tell you what is in his heart, what he thinks. He will not hold it back if you’re a woman, you’re human. If you’re a woman or a man, it’s no different, you’re human.”
Perhaps most interesting, Melania reveals what attracted her to Trump when she first met him. Watch the video of the full interview above.
Read the full story at USA Today.