President Donald Trump said Tuesday that his wife Melania Trump “truly loves what she is doing” as first lady, an apparent rebuke of a Vanity Fair story about Melania Trump last weekend.
“Melania, our great and very hard working First Lady, who truly loves what she is doing, always thought that ‘if you run, you will win,’” Trump wrote on Twitter. “She would tell everyone that, ‘no doubt, he will win.’ I also felt I would win (or I would not have run) – and Country is doing great!”
The Vanity Fair article, headlined with a quote from an unnamed Trump family friend who said Melania Trump “didn’t want this come hell or high water,” details how it was the first lady who pushed her husband in 2014 to make a firm decision to run or not run for president. But the article portrays Melania Trump’s effort to force a decision out of her husband as having backfired, thrusting her into a public role – and accompanying bright spotlight – that she did not want.
“This isn’t something she wanted and it isn’t something he ever thought he’d win,” the unnamed friend of the Trumps told Vanity Fair. “She didn’t want this come hell or high water. I don’t think she thought it was going to happen.”
Melania Trump’s spokeswoman on Monday stated that the story was riddled with “false assertions” and characterized it as “salacious and false,” according to Fox News.
Melania Trump has been conspicuously inconspicuous through her husband’s first year in office, eschewing much of the public role of the first lady that her modern predecessors have embraced. Many key positions in the first lady’s East Wing offices remain unfilled, and her choice of cyberbullying as a pet issue has raised eyebrows, given her husband’s combative Twitter habits.
The first lady has given just a handful of speeches in her official role and did not move into the White House until months after her husband’s inauguration, remaining in New York so that the couple’s son, Barron Trump, could finish out the school year.
The president’s online statement that his wife was among the earliest predictors of his victory is one he has repeated often. He followed his Tuesday morning tweet about her by retweeting two of her posts, one that featured pictures of her visiting with children from Joint Base Andrews and another that included a video of the White House Christmas decorations.