Last week, five people died as rioters incited by President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol seeking lawmakers to lynch. But first lady Melania Trump has identified the worst thing about the entire horrific spectacle—people saying mean things about her online.
In a deeply weird and jarring farewell statement posted by the White House early Monday morning, Melania first paid tribute to those who lost their lives in last week’s violence carried out in support of her husband, before going on to settle some scores against unspecified people who she claims have “attacked” her over the past few days since the riots.
“I am disappointed and disheartened with what happened last week,” she began, in a paragraph which, at first, you assume is a condemnation of Trumpist rioters. But she then goes on to say: “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.”
It’s not exactly clear what she’s referring to—it’s hard to believe that Melania has really been at the forefront of anyone’s mind since last week’s unprecedented assault on American democracy. It could be a reference to a CNN report that she was doing a photoshoot at the White House when rioters were laying siege to the Capitol on behalf of her husband.
It could also refer to Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, who previously served as an aide to the first lady, who condemned her last week. In an article for The Daily Beast, Melania’s former BFF wrote after the Capitol riot: “It was an assault on human life and our great democracy. Unfortunately, our president and first lady have little, if any, regard for either.” Her chief of staff, Stephanie Grisham, resigned on the day of the insurrection.
Elsewhere in her decidedly odd statement, Melania offered her first condemnation of the riots, five days after they happened. She wrote that she “absolutely condemn[s] the violence that has occurred on our Nation’s Capitol,” and added: “I implore people to stop the violence, never make assumptions based on the color of a person’s skin or use differing political ideologies as a basis for aggression and viciousness.”
However, she also seems to praise Trump’s supporters—hitting entirely the wrong note in the wake of last week’s violence. “It is inspiring to see that so many have found a passion and enthusiasm in participating in an election, but we must not allow that passion to turn to violence,” she wrote.
It’s also been noted that the statement paid tribute to the pro-Trump rioters who died last week before she mentions deceased Capitol Police Officers Brian Sicknick and Howard Liebengood. Sicknick was struck by rioters with a fire extinguisher, while Liebengood died by apparent suicide on Saturday, days after responding to the destructive siege.
The statement also misspelled the surname of Ashli Babbitt, the Trump-supporting Air Force vet who was shot dead during the riot.
Melania signs off with an apparent farewell message to the American people, saying that serving as first lady has been “the honor of [her] lifetime.” She adds: “I want to thank the millions of Americans who supported my husband and me over the past four years and shown the incredible impact of the American spirit... Most importantly, I ask for healing, grace, understanding, and peace for our great Nation.”
So there goes Melania, signing off exactly as she served: Complaining about people being mean to her, completely misjudging the mood of the nation, and spouting trite soundbites about morality and good behavior while saying nothing about the deranged actions of her husband.