“I find it shameful that around these tragic events there has been salacious gossip, unwarranted personal attacks and deceptive false accusations against me – from people who seek to be relevant and who have an agenda,” he said. Ms. Trump wrote in a statement posted on the White House Official Site.
On Monday, Ms. Trump struck a different tone in what amounted to a farewell video. She promoted her time as first lady and her fledgling platform, Be Best, once again calling on the rest of the country to stand up for ideals her husband spent four years ignoring.
“Take every opportunity to show consideration for another person,” Ms. Trump said. “In all circumstances, I ask every American to be an ambassador for Be Best. Focus on what unites us, rise above what divides us, always choose love over hate, peace over violence and others above yourself.
Friends of Ms Trump say she is a better person than the country has ever seen, who has at times tried unsuccessfully to exert a moderating influence over her husband and has been angered by the way he handled their last months at the White House.
“Melania is and will continue to be the most popular Trump,” Kellyanne Conway, former adviser to the president, said in an interview. “She will use her platform for the good of others. As the first lady, she was fully engaged, but not overexposed. There remains a curiosity and a mystery around her.
But publicly, she showed a side that critics said could be incredibly callous and, like her husband, dramatically feel sorry for herself. In 2018, as she returned from a visit to a Texas border town to meet detained migrant children, Ms. Trump made what turned out to be her most explicit fashion statement, wearing a jacket emblazoned with the phrase: “I don’t care. From where? “