First lady Melania Trump made an appearance in the White House Rose Garden on Monday to officially introduce her platform. With the president among the audience looking on, Melania told reporters and those gathered that her formal platform is going to be promoting the wellbeing of children and will be known by the moniker “Be Best.”
During the 2016 campaign, Melania had vowed that should her husband win the election, she would take up the fight against cyberbullying as her official cause, and that notion figured into the three chief pillars of her agenda: well-being; social media use; and physical health.
“I feel strongly that as adults, we can and should ‘be best’ at educating our children about the importance of a healthy and balanced life,” the first lady told reporters. “As a mother and as first lady, it concerns me that in today’s fast-paced and ever-connected world, children can be less prepared to express or manage their emotions and often times turn to forms of destructive or addictive behavior such as bullying, drug addiction or even suicide.” She continued, saying, “If we truly listen to what our kids have to say, whether it be their concerns or ideas, adults can provide them the support and tools they need to grow up to be happy and productive adults who contribute positively to society and their global communities.”
At the end of her remarks, her husband — who spent a portion of the earlier part of the day firing off incendiary tweets — then approached the podium to say a few words and congratulate her for “inspiring us all,” before signing an official proclamation making May 7 “Be Best Day.”
The printed materials the White House handed out, however, struck reporters given the similarities the text bore to text used by the Obama administration in its printed materials dealing with cyberbullying. It appeared the White House had largely repurposed the content in the “Be Best” material, BuzzFeed News reported. Some of the passages appeared to have been copied word-for-word from a Federal Trade Commission pamphlet published in 2014 for the “Net Cetera” campaign, which began early in the Obama administration. Melania, infamously, plagiarized parts of the speech she gave during the 2016 Republican National Convention from the speech Michelle Obama delivered at the 2008 Democratic National Convention, and the similar texts used by the White House in its materials gave many a sense of déjà vu. After BuzzFeed inquired about the similarities, the White House changed the official promotional language to the reflect the contributions from the previous administration. The initial copy billed the material as “a booklet by First Lady Melania Trump and the FTC” but now points out that it is an “FTC booklet, promoted by first lady Melania Trump.”
That was hardly the only thing people were paying attention to, though. Many focused the the rapport between the president and first lady during the event. The two showed some physical affection, embracing and kissing on the cheek. Melania of course has at times rebuffed her husband’s attempts to hold hands, and the news headlines are saturated daily with reports of the president’s purported affair with adult film star Stormy Daniels years ago, and another extramarital relationship former Playboy model Karen McDougal said she and Trump carried on for months.
According to a new poll from CNN, Melania Trump’s approval rating is surging. The latest survey showed 57 percent of respondents saying that they have a favorable view of the first lady, up from 47 percent in January. And a report over the weekend by The Washington Post painted a portrait of the first couple living largely separate lives. According to the sources cited in the report, the two sleep in separate bedrooms, see each other very little throughout the day, and Melania reportedly never visits her husband in the West Wing unless she has official business there. The story even explored a conspiracy theory many believe about where Melania actually lives — a theory that one Melania’s spokesperson said is “1,000 percent false,” and added, “We laugh at it all the time.”
Below, watch video of the first lady announcing her platform.
Read the full story at The Associated Press.