Toeing the line

Melania Trump opposes all ‘abuse or violence,’ but would not say she believes Christine Blasey Ford

Addressing reporters during her tour of Africa, Melania Trump fielded a number of questions about comments made by her husband — most recently his claim that the sexual assault accusations against Brett Kavanaugh suggest it is “a very scary time for young men in America.”

The first lady gave an evasive response, saying that she was “glad” both Christine Blasey Ford, one of Kavanaugh’s accusers, and Kavanaugh got a chance to speak at a recent Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, according to The New York Times.

Trump would not, however, answer a direct question about whether she believes Ford.

“I will move on that,” she said. “We need to help all of the victims.”

Trump recently wrapped up a six-day trip in Africa, during which she visited Ghana, Malawi, Kenya and Egypt. When she spoke to reporters in front of the Great Sphinx, she was confronted with yet another uncomfortable question about reports that the president had used derogatory language to describe African countries. “I never heard him saying those comments,” she said, also noting that none of her hosts in Africa had brought the matter up.

In a lighter moment, the first lady was asked about President Trump’s propensity to lash out on Twitter via his mobile phone and whether she makes it a point to counterbalance some of his rougher edges. “Well, I don’t always agree [with] what he tweets, and I tell him that. I give him my honest opinion and honest advice. Sometimes he listens and sometimes he doesn’t,” she said. “I have my own voice and opinions and it’s very important for me that I express what I feel.”

“Do you ever tell him to put the phone down?” a reporter asked.

“Yes,” the first lady responded, eliciting a round of laughter from the gaggle of reporters.

And finally, Trump was asked about the white pith helmet that she wore during a Kenyan safari last week — and which swiftly drew comparisons to European colonial garb.

“I wish people would focus on what I do,” she said firmly, “not what I wear.” Watch the full interview below.

 

Read the full story at The New York Times.

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