You better believe that jacket reading "i really don't care, do u?" was a message to the media. The First Lady explains why she wore it on ABC News special, "Being Melania."
Melania Trump took a break during a recent African tour to tape a prime-time interview in Kenya with ABC News reporter Tom Llamas. Promotional sound bites from "Being Melania -- The First Lady" have grabbed headlines all week, but the full conversation which aired Friday night was jam-packed with even more bizarre moments and controversial statements.
Proudly displaying her colonial-inspired (and perhaps culturally insensitive) white pith helmet, the First Lady of the United States didn't attempt to soften her husband Donald Trump's image during the wide-ranging interview. Nor did she apologize for any of his heavily criticized policies. She also didn't blink after being asked about his alleged affairs and sexual misconduct.
Melania did, however, speak candidly about the #MeToo movement, her "I really don't care, do u?" jacket, and why she believes she's one of the world's most bullied people. She also revealed she still loves the Donald and enjoys her time as First Lady.
Here are the highlights!
Melania found herself embroiled in a controversy this summer after wearing a Zara jacket reading "i really don't care, do u?" on her way to visit immigrant children being detained in Texas. During Friday's interview, she revealed she was sending a message to her critics and the "left-wing media."
"You know, I often asking myself, if I would not wear that jacket, if I will have so much media coverage," Melania said. "And it's obvious I didn't wear the jacket for the children. I wore the jacket to go on the plane and off the plane. And it was for the people and for the left-wing media who are criticizing me. And I wanna show them that I don't care. You could criticize whatever you wanna say, but it will not stop me to do what I feel is right."
"After the visit I put it back on because I see how media got obsessed about it," she added, before telling Tom she'd prefer the media focus on her initiatives.
Earlier this week, ABC teased a clip from the interview wherein Melania suggested women shouldn't accuse men of sexual misconduct without first providing "hard evidence" of a crime. Her comments made plenty of headlines, and Friday's hour-long special provided more of the same as well as insight on how she plans to raise her son Barron in the age of #MeToo.
After insisting she supports both men and women who have come forward, Melania told Tom she also thinks the #MeToo movement has "in certain times" gone too far. "You need to have really hard evidence that, you know, that if you accuse of something, show the evidence," she said.
Donald recently claimed the #MeToo cultural shift has left it so men now have more to fear than women. While Melania didn't go so far as to agree with him, she did open up about how the evolving landscape might affect her son Barron. "I teach my son to be respectful and responsible, And I have a conversation with him already. He's 12 and a half," she said. "And I think it's very important, especially the world changed so much."
The conversation also turned to accusations of sexual misconduct aimed at her husband, President Trump. "They were -- they were lies," Melania said emphatically. "And as I said before, all the accusations, they should -- be handled in a court of law."
When asked about his alleged infidelities, however, Melania offered no such denial.
"It is not concern and focus of mine," she said. "I'm a mother and a first lady, and I have much more important things to think about and to do. I know people like to speculate and media like to speculate about our marriage. And circulate the gossip. But I understand the gossip sells newspapers, magazines, getting advertisers. And unfortunately we live -- in this kind of world today."
"I know what is right and what is wrong and what is true or not true," she continued, adding: "I'm very strong, and I know what my priorities are."
Melania's "Be Best" campaign purportedly aims to empower the younger generation with the tools they need to combat obstacles like opioid addiction and social media bullying. After it's unveiling, critics pointed to her husband's social media behavior, which can be charitably described as antagonistic.
But Melania won't let Donald's tweets get in the way of her initiative. "I don't agree always what he posts, but his action is his action," she said. "And I tell him that. I will be hit with criticism to talking about cyberbullying. But it will not stop me to do what is right."
"He understands that he's very tough on Twitter," she added. "But he understands that I wanna help next generation, and the children."
After being asked why the issue was so important to her, Melania revealed it's because the cyber bullying hits so close to home. "I could say I'm the most bullied person on the world," she declared.
"And sometimes, you know, people would not say to you face to face, but they hiding behind the keyboards. And that's the danger," she continued. "That's why I'm involved and focusing social media, for the next generation. Because not everybody has a thick skin and they cannot handle it. And we have a big problem in United States and across the world."
The spotlight has been shining bright on Melania and Donald's relationship in the wake of the allegations made against him. Many have speculated the spark between them has fizzled out with some even suggesting she may be miserable in her marriage and in her role as First Lady.
But Melania insisted she's having a good time. "I don't feel like a prisoner," she told Tom. "No. I enjoying it, and this will not last forever. And it's very special time."
When directly asked whether she loves her husband, however, Melania's answer wasn't quite the stuff Hallmark cards are made of. "Yes, we are fine," Melania told him. "Yes. It's what media speculate, and it's gossip. It's not always correct stuff."