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January 26, 2023
Melania Trump has broken her silence on the January 6 uprising at the US Capitol for the first time, telling Fox News in a new interview that she was “unaware” of the incident as it was unfolding.
“On January 6, 2021, I was fulfilling one of my duties as First Lady of the United States of America, and accordingly, I was unaware of what was simultaneously transpiring at the US Capitol Building,” she said.
“As with all first ladies who preceded me, it was my obligation to record the contents of the White House’s historic rooms, including taking archival photographs of all the renovations. Several months in advance, I organized a qualified team of photographers, archivists, and designers to work with me in the White House to ensure perfect execution,” she continued. “As required, we scheduled January 6, 2021, to complete the work on behalf of our Nation.”
Mrs. Trump added that she found out about the riot “in the news like everyone else.”
Mrs. Trump’s statement comes after her former chief of staff, Stephanie Grisham, revealed a text message exchange in which the former first lady responded to a tweet that Grisham had written calling for the violence on Capitol Hill to cease as it was happening, according to excerpts from Mrs. Trump’s new book that were published by ABC News. The fomer first lady reportedly responded “no.”
In the Fox News interview, Mrs. Trump said she was “disappointed and disheartened” by Grisham’s decision to go public with the text message exchange.
“I am never afraid to express my opinion, but the moment a person is elected to serve our country, they should be held to the highest standard. We as Americans should expect and demand nothing less from our leaders,” she said.
Mrs. Trump concluded her remarks by saying that she “remains committed to stopping violence in all forms.”
“I implore people to stop the hatred, bullying, and lies. Our country has made great progress since January 20, 2017, and we will continue to strive for a better future for all Americans,” she said.
The former first lady’s interview comes as she is reportedly considering a return to the public eye in the lead-up to the 2022 midterm elections. She is said to be interested in campaigning on behalf of Republican candidates, and her advisers have reportedly been in talks with potential candidates about the possibility of her lending her support.