First lady Melania Trump said in an interview broadcast Thursday that there have been people in her husband’s White House whom she doesn’t trust, including some who still work there, and that she considers herself one of the most bullied people in the world.
During the interview with ABC News, conducted during her recent solo trip to Africa, Trump was asked by interviewer Tom Llamas whether the president has had people working for him she didn’t trust.
“Yes,” she replied, adding that she has let her husband know.
“Some people, they don’t work there anymore,” the first lady said.
Asked whether there are still people in the administration she cannot trust, Trump said yes.
“It’s harder to govern,” the first lady said. “You always need to watch your back.”
Her comments come in the wake of an anonymous op-ed in the New York Times last month claiming that there is a “resistance” within the Trump administration. The Times said the piece was written by a senior administration official, whose identity has not become public.
Asked about his wife’s assertions during an interview Thursday on Fox News Channel, President Trump blamed being a newcomer to Washington for some of his picks and said he is happier with his team now.
“Are there some I’m not in love with? Yes, and we’ll weed them out,” he added.
During the ABC interview, Llamas asked Melania Trump whether she has the most control over her husband’s decisions of those in the White House.
“Oh, I wish,” she said, laughing.
“I give him my honest advice and honest opinions, and then he does what he wants to do,” Trump said.
During the interview, Trump also discussed her child-welfare initiative, Be Best, which includes a focus on combating cyberbullying.
“I could say I’m the most bullied person on the world,” she said.
Pressed on that assertion, she added: “One of them, if you really see what people are saying about me.”
“That’s why my Be Best initiative focuses on social media and online behavior,” Trump added. “We need to educate the children of social, emotional behavior, so when they grow up and they know how to deal with those issues.”
Asked for examples of the first lady being bullied, spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham pointed to comments her boss has received in response to Twitter posts.
Since her arrival at the White House, Trump’s appearance and clothing choices have been heavily scrutinized and her accent has been the source of jokes, including by late-night host Jimmy Kimmel. Her Be Best initiative also has been the target of heavy online criticism.