Melania Trump says she’s not afraid to express her opinions to her husband on numerous topics — including his phone use.
While visiting Giza, Egypt, on Saturday — the final stop of her week-long trip through four African countries — the first lady, 48, answered questions from reporters about how she advises President Donald Trump on important issues.
“Some people interpret some of the decisions you’ve made, such as coming to Africa and some of your tweets, as a way of sort of not necessarily undermining, but talking at him a little bit, trying to influence him. Can you talk about that?” a reporter asks in a video published by CNN.
“Well, I don’t always agree [with] what he thinks and I tell him that. I give him my honest opinion and honest advice,” she explains, admitting that “sometimes he listens, sometimes he doesn’t.”
“But I have my own voice and my own opinions and it’s very important for me that I express what I feel,” she adds.
While the first lady denied that she tries to influence her husband to take a more measured tone in public, she again emphasized that “he’s the president” and does what he likes.
However, when asked whether she’s ever told him to put his phone down, Mrs. Trump smiled while simply saying, “Yes,” causing the assembled reporters to laugh.
Having been slammed on Friday for wearing a pitch hat — which is commonly seen as a symbol of European colonial rule across Africa — during a safari outing in Kenya, the first lady’s outfit on Saturday got a significantly better public reaction.
In Giza, Mrs. Trump wore a beige blazer over a crisp white shirt, black tie and cream pants, accessorizing the look with a matching fedora hat. Twitter users immediately began comparing her look to the one Michael Jackson wore in his 1988 “Smooth Criminal” video.
However, the first lady told reporters on Saturday that she wishes people would talk more about her visit and less about her fashion choices.
“That’s very important what I do, what we’re doing with U.S. aid and what I do with my initiatives, and I wish people would focus on what I do, not what I wear,” she said.
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While speaking in front of the Sphinx, the first lady also discussed Christine Blasey Ford‘s sexual assault claims against her husband’s Supreme Court pick Brett Kavanaugh. Mrs. Trump said she was glad both Ford and Kavanaugh had a chance to speak.
“I would say if we’re talking about the Supreme Court and Judge Kavanaugh, I think he’s highly qualified for the Supreme Court. I‘m glad that Dr. Ford was heard, I’m glad that Judge Kavanaugh was heard. FBI investigation was done, is completed and Senate voted,” she said. “I will move on that and I think that all the victims they need — we need to help all the victims no matter what kind of abuse they had, but I am against any kind of abuse or violence.”
Her comments came shortly before the Senate confirmed Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court on Saturday afternoon in a 50-48 vote.