Melania speaks out about Trump's coup, mourns fallen Capitol cops after rioters

The first lady finally breaks her silence on Capitol riot to decry "salacious gossip" about her

By Jon Skolnik
January 11, 2021 10:36PM (UTC)
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Melania Trump and Ivanka Trump (Getty Images/Salon)

First Lady Melania Trump finally came forward on Monday with a statement on the violent mob unleashed by her husband, finally breaking her week-long silence after the Capitol riot. In her lengthy statement, the First Lady –– who was reportedly holding on a furniture photoshoot for her new coffee table book at the White House during the riot –– casts herself as a victim of "salacious gossip" and "personal attacks" made against her. While she did make mention of the multiple lives lost in the melee on Jan. 6, Melania Trump curiously mourned the pro-Trump rioters who were killed after criminally trespassing on the Capitol before she did the same for the Capitol police officers who died, Brian Sicknick and Howard Liebengood, after trying to fight off the Trump-motivated mob.

"I am disappointed and disheartened with what happened last week," said Melania Trump after expressing condolences to the victims of the violence, then adding, "I find it shameful that surrounding these tragic events there has been salacious gossip, unwarranted personal attacks, and false misleading accusations on me – from people who are looking to be relevant and have an agenda. This time is solely about healing our country and its citizens. It should not be used for personal gain." 

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The First Lady's self-defense comes after former Trump aide and friend Stephanie Winston Wolkoff published a bitter j'accuse in The Daily Beast last week casting Melania Trump as a passive aider-and-abettor with "blood on her hands." In Wolkoff's tell-all published just last year, she detailed how the first lady "stoked and massaged…egos and wittingly agreed to the falsehoods and poisonous lies, veiled as truths, that built this house of mirrors." 

Although Melania Trump condemned the violence carried out on Wednesday's insurrection, imploring "people to never make assumptions based on the color of a person's skin or use differing political ideologies as a basis for aggression and viciousness," she stopped short of attributing any blame to her husband, the inciter-in-chief, who –– along with over a dozen stalwart Republican allies –– encouraged his supporters to "fight like hell" against a "stolen" election. 

The President is now set to be tried for another round of impeachment by the House this week. Melania Trump, however, made no mention of her husband's precarious position in office, instead calling for a vague return to normalcy through "healing" and open-mindedness:

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As an American, I am proud of our freedom to express our viewpoints without persecution." The First Lady added, "It is one of the paramount ideals which America is fundamentally built on. Many have made the ultimate sacrifice to protect that right. With that in mind, I would like to call on the citizens of this country to take a moment, pause, and look at things from all perspectives.

Melania Trump's petty and self-centered response to the shocking events encouraged by her husband is in line with that of her daughter-in-law's. Ivanka Trump seemed more concerned with her image in the immediate aftermath of the Capitol riot, having the New York Post's Page Six report that "Ivanka is hurt" after Karli Kloss tweeted criticism of her sister-in-law. 

 


Jon Skolnik

Jon Skolnik is a News Fellow at Salon. His work has appeared in Current Affairs, The Baffler, Alternet, and The New York Daily News.

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Capitol Riot Donald Trump Melania Trump Trump Coup Trump Riot