Comparing Melania & Donald Trump’s Speeches From The Weekend Reveals How At Odds They Are
Every couple has its disagreements, but the divergence in messages between the Melania and Donald Trump this weekend appears particularly stark. On Sunday evening, the first lady spoke at a youth organization's conference as a part of her "Be Best" campaign, advocating for kindness and positivity among teens. Meanwhile, her husband was attacking people on Twitter and in his speeches.
"You have the power to be the positive force in so many people’s lives," Melania Trump told a meeting of Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) in Tyson's Corner, Virginia. "Kindness, compassion, and positivity are very important traits in life."
Melania Trump's message to SADD — formerly known as "Students Against Driving Drunk" — focused on the importance of compassion in everyday life. Her brief remarks included a call to "treat your community like your family, and look out for one another." She added, it is "far easier to say nothing than it is to speak words of kindness," and it is "easier to judge quickly than to take time to understand."
At around the same time, Donald Trump took to Twitter to attack Jimmy Fallon, accusing the late-night host of "whimpering" to the press about the negative implications of a Tonight Show interview he'd done with then-candidate Trump over a year ago.
This is not the first time the president's habit of publicly criticizing his opponents appeared to undercut Melania Trump's "Be Best" campaign message for kindness, nor was it the first time over the weekend. On Saturday, during a campaign fundraiser for Republican Sen. Dean Heller in Las Vegas, Trump shifted his message from tax cuts to making jabs at Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who happened to be campaigning 400 miles away in Reno, on behalf of Heller's Democratic opponent Jacky Rosen.
"Wacky Jacky is campaigning with Pocahontas," Trump said, including Rosen in the name-calling. "You believe this? In your state?"
"Pocahontas" is a name Trump has called Warren in the past, a mocking reference to the Native American ancestry Warren claims, and a moniker she has called a "racist slur." In November, when he referred to Warren as "Pocahontas" at a Navajo military veterans' event, he faced widespread backlash from Native American communities and mainstream media.
"I did apologize," Trump said this weekend in Las Vegas. "To the memory of Pocahontas, I apologized."
On Sunday, Trump continued his provocative streak with a tweet that suggested the government suspend due process for immigrants found to be crossing the border illegally. This notion is in direct conflict with the rights of asylum-seekers, whose right to a free trial is protected by law. He also continued to claim, inaccurately, that Democratic lawmakers are pushing for open borders, and for that reason are dragging their feet on upcoming immigration bills.
Then on Monday morning, he tweeted in support of Sarah Huckabee Sanders, after she publicly called out a restaurant owner in Virginia who asked her leave the establishment because she works in the Trump White House.
"The Red Hen Restaurant should focus more on cleaning its filthy canopies, doors and windows (badly needs a paint job) rather than refusing to serve a fine person like Sarah Huckabee Sanders. I always had a rule, if a restaurant is dirty on the outside, it is dirty on the inside!" he said.
Unlike her husband, Melania Trump has stayed largely withdrawn from the public eye, rarely making public statements or sitting for interviews. Her "Be Best" campaign has been criticized for its vague mission to promote the "well-being" of children as the Trump administration worked to defund children's health care, and separate immigrant children from their parents.
Her remarks on Sunday — while still relatively unspecific — have added to that criticism on Twitter. Though vague, for some they highlight a sense of disconnect between ideas of inclusion and empathy and the actions of her husband's administration.