First lady Melania Trump stirred more controversy for the embattled Trump family after releasing a letter to the nation that paints herself as a victim and offered condolences to the families of four people suspected of being killed while taking part in the Jan. 6 riot in the Capitol.
As Congress prepares to take steps to force her husband from office, Trump’s letter was immediately slammed as tone deaf and self-serving. President Donald Trump has drawn near-universal condemnation for his role in whipping up the mob that stormed the Capitol. In the days since the attack, the depth of the danger to member of Congress and others has come into focus as more details emerge about the attackers.
In the letter titled “The Path Forward,” Melania Trump condemned the chaos that has forced the country into yet another Constitutional crisis during President Trump’s reign. But most saw it as too little too late.
“I am disappointed and disheartened with what happened last week. I find it shameful that surrounding these tragic events there has been salacious gossip, unwarranted personal attacks, and false misleading accusations on me – from people who are looking to be relevant and have an agenda. This time is solely about healing our country and its citizens. It should not be used for personal gain,” Trump wrote.
The first lady’s decision to offer condolences by name to the families of four people who were believed to have died after being part of the mob was also roundly criticized. It was widely noted that she listed those four names before those of the two Capitol Police offers, Brian Sicknick and Howard Liebengood, who died in the melee.
“Our Nation must heal in a civil manner. Make no mistake about it, I absolutely condemn the violence that has occurred on our Nation’s Capitol. Violence is never acceptable,” she wrote.
These folks attacked the seat of government. Her heart first goes out to one who died doing so. https://t.co/a04MTO4Yu3
— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) January 11, 2021
Melania Trump’s letter is the latest example of her struggle to develop a profile as first lady. Her entry into the political arena got off to a rough start in 2016 when she was accused of plagiarizing her predecessor, Michelle Obama, with her Republican National Convention speech. Since then, Melania Trump has stirred several controversies, including the release in October of a telephone conversation in which she lamented the lack of favorable press coverage and even went so far as to complain about her traditional duties as first lady.