Lara Trump on Thursday blamed criticism over her comments on unpaid federal workers affected by the longest government shutdown in U.S. history on the “mainstream media,” which she claimed had misrepresented her statements.
“If anyone bothered to watch the entirety of this interview that I did, I think it was very clear I was incredibly empathetic toward anyone right now that is struggling without a paycheck,” Trump said on the Fox News show “Outnumbered Overtime.”
Trump, who is President Trump’s daughter-in-law and a campaign adviser, told the digital news network Bold TV earlier this week that the president is fighting for “what he knows is the right thing to do.”
“It’s not fair to you, and we all get that, but this is so much bigger than any one person,” she said. “It is a little bit of pain, but it’s going to be for the future of our country, and their children and their grandchildren and generations after them will thank them for their sacrifice right now. I know it’s hard. I know people have families, they have bills to pay, they have mortgages, they have rents that are due. But the president is trying every single day to come up with a good solution here, and the reality is it’s been something that’s gone on for too long and been unaddressed — our immigration problem.
“If we do nothing right now, it’s never going to get fixed. This is our one opportunity.”
After Trump’s remarks, some people on social media scoffed at the idea that the shutdown is “a little bit of pain,” noting that about 800,000 government employees are affected.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) tweeted that Lara Trump “must not have talked to the workers at our airport or the prison guards working without pay."
The co-hosts on ABC’s “The View” also criticized the shutdown and Trump’s rationale for it.
“It’s just such a bad look,” co-host Meghan McCain said Wednesday morning on the show.
“If you are a millionaire’s wife,” Sunny Hostin added, “you may not understand that there are families that can’t afford to feed their children.”
Joy Behar then interjected: “But she’s married to [Eric Trump] — she knows pain.”
On Wednesday, Trump tweeted that the media was “completely misrepresenting my words.”
Trump said Thursday on Fox News that “it was really hard to see all these people attacking over something that was misconstrued.”
She added that the controversy is “why the president calls the media a lot of fake news these days.”
The Trump family has long criticized the media over what they claimed to be unfavorable coverage. The president has made 8,158 false or misleading claims in his first two years, according to The Washington Post’s Fact Checker.
The partial government shutdown, which started Dec. 22, continues as President Trump demands $5.7 billion for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border and Democratic lawmakers decline to approve it.
On Bold TV, Lara Trump had said the issue is that without the shutdown, the president has “no hand to play.”
Then she told government workers who are unable to work to “please stay strong.”
“We appreciate everything that you’re sacrificing,” Trump said. “We are behind you, and we’re going to do everything we can. I know the president is doing everything he can to resolve this quickly.”