While wrapping up her first international tour as First Lady, Melania answered questions from reporters while sitting outside the pyramids in Giza, Egypt. Some wanted to know just what kind of influence she really has over her husband.
“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?” one reporter asked.
“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 said adding that “sometimes he listens, sometimes he doesn’t.”
However, she also wanted to make it clear that she has her “own voice and my own opinions and it’s very important for me that I express what I feel.” In the end, she noted, he’s the President and does what he likes.
A reporter then asked if she ever asked her husband to “put down his phone.” She quickly replied “yes,” which elicited laughter from both the First Lady and the reporters on hand.
As well as explaining how her relationship with her husband works, Melania also let her feelings be known about the appointment of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.
“What I will say, if we’re talking about the Supreme Court and Judge Kavanaugh, I think he’s highly qualified for the Supreme Court,” she said. “I’m glad that Dr. Ford was heard; I’m glad that Judge Kavanaugh was heard. The FBI investigation was done, it’s completed, and [the] Senate voted.”
When pressed on if she believed Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, Melania remained evasive, but added, “I think all the victims—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 trip was also not without fashion controversies. While visiting the Sheldrick Wildlife Elephant Project in Kenya, the first lady topped her outfit with a white pith helmet. The helmet has long been associated with colonial rule, particularly in Africa, and are a symbol of oppression.
When asked about the fashion choice, Melania simply replied, “That’s very important what I do, what we’re doing with USAID and what I do with my initiatives, and I wish people would focus on what I do, not what I wear.”