Melania Trump issues ‘farewell message’
The First Lady today gave her farewell speech describing the last four years in the White House as the “greatest honour” of her life. She paid tribute to the military, law enforcement workers and those on the frontline of the coronavirus pandemic. Melania urged Americans to continue to follow her “Be Best” initiative, a programme that has been the hallmark of her time as First Lady.
She said: “Be passionate in everything you do but always remember that violence is never the answer and will never be justified.”
It was interpreted as a nod to the pro-Trump protests that took place at the Capitol Building two weeks ago, in support of her husband Donald.
President-elect Joe Biden will enter the White House this week, with his wife, Jill, becoming the US’ new First Lady.
Melania will unlikely attend the transfer of power in Washington tomorrow as President Trump has confirmed he will fly to Florida hours before the inauguration takes place.
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While Melania advocated for a move away from violence, her team’s use of language in the past has often come across as brutal.
In 2019, Melania’s spokeswoman, Stephanie Grisham, hit out at Vogue’s editor-in-chief, Anna Wintour, after she said she admired former First Lady Michelle Obama but failed to praise Melania.
The last time Melania featured on the front cover of Vogue was ahead of her marriage to Mr Trump in 2005.
Michelle had featured on the magazine’s front-page three times while First Lady, as well as a handful of other leading fashion titles.
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In what appeared to be a rebuke of both Ms Wintour and Michelle, Ms Grisham said: “To be on the cover of Vogue doesn’t define Mrs Trump, she’s been there, done that long before she was First Lady.
“Her role as First Lady of the United States and all that she does is much more important than some superficial photoshoot and cover.
“This just further demonstrates how biased the fashion magazine industry is, and shows how insecure and small-minded Anna Wintour really is.”
It came as Ms Wintour detailed her love of Michelle’s wardrobe when asked about Melania repertoire during The Economist’s podcast.
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The fashion giant said: “I think First Lady Michelle Obama really was so incredible in every decision she made about fashion.
“She supported young American designers.
“She supported designers, indeed, from all over the world.
“She was the best ambassador this country could possibly have in many ways, obviously, way beyond fashion.”
When pressed on what she thought about Melania, Ms Wintour replied: “To me, Michelle is the example that I admire.”
The lack of coverage has not gone unnoticed by those at the top of the White House.
As 2020 came to a close, President Trump lashed out at fashion and lifestyle magazines for not featuring Melania on their front covers enough.
In a Christmas Day tweet, the President referred to the First Lady as “the greatest of all time” and scolded the fashion press as “fake news”.
He retweeted a Breitbart News post that said: “The elitist snobs in the fashion press have kept the most elegant First Lady in American history off the covers of their magazines for four consecutive years.”
Meanwhile, in to her farewell speech, Melania said: “I ask all Americans to use caution and common sense to protect the vulnerable as millions of vaccines are now available.
“In all circumstances, I ask every American to be an ambassador of Be Best. To focus on what unites us. To rise above what divides us.
“To always choose love over hatred, peace over violence, and others before yourself.
“Together, as one national family, we can continue to be the light of hope for future generations and carry on America’s legacy of raising our nation to greater heights through our spirit of courage, goodness and faith.
“No words can express the depth of my gratitude for the privilege of having served as your First Lady.
“To all the people of this country: You will be in my heart forever. Thank you.
“God bless you, and God bless the United States of America.”
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