Shortly before the Untied States elected a sexist, racist and Islamophobic business mogul with no government or military experience as its commander-in-chief, his wife, Melania Trump, made a rare appearance at a campaign event and vowed to use her platform in the White House to condemn cyberbullying.
“Our culture has gotten too mean and too rough, especially to children and teenagers," she said at the time. “We have to find a better way to talk to each other, to disagree with each other, to respect each other. We must find better ways to honor and support the basic goodness of our children, especially in social media. It will be one of the main focuses of my work if I'm privileged enough to become your first lady.”
Now, the first lady — who has done nothing significant to combat the problem since her husband’s inauguration back in January yet continues to portray herself as a champion of the cause — is publicly defending the president’s unmistakably misogynistic and vulgar Twitter tirade against MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” co-host Mika Brzezinski.
I heard poorly rated @Morning_Joe speaks badly of me (don't watch anymore). Then how come low I.Q. Crazy Mika, along with Psycho Joe, came..— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 29, 2017
...to Mar-a-Lago 3 nights in a row around New Year's Eve, and insisted on joining me. She was bleeding badly from a face-lift. I said no!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 29, 2017
Instead of stopping her husband from online bullying his critics — whom he usually refers to his "many enemies" — the first lady’s office described the sexist tweets insulting Brzezinski’s physical appearance and intellect as a counterpunch.
“As the first lady has stated publicly in the past, when her husband gets attacked, he will punch back 10 times harder,” Melania Trump’s Communications Director Stephanie Grisham told CNN.
Is she only going to fight cyberbullying when the president is not the perpetrator?
CNN’s Jake Tapper also questioned Melania’s anti-bullying initiative in an aptly worded tweet:
Trump’s scalding tweets came after Brzezinski and her co-host Joe Scarborough, two hard-hitting critics of the Trump administration, mocked the commander-in-chief for decorating at least four of his golf courses with fake Time covers.
Moreover, this is not the first time the president has targeted a female journalist and used the word “blood” to insult her. It is also not the first time the first lady has come forward to defend her husband’s penchant for sexism and bullying.
For instance, after Trump’s disturbing 2005 “locker room” banter with Billy Bush leaked online, where then-reality TV star made lewd comments about women and famously uttered the words “grab ‘em by the p*****,” his wife said her husband was "egged on" to “say dirty and bad stuff.”
Shortly before the 2016 presidential election, Melania told CBS' “60 Minutes” correspondent Leslie Stahl how she scolded her husband for his tweets and admitted that some had crossed the line. However, she acknowledged she ultimately has no control over his social media antics.
“Sometimes he listens, sometimes he doesn't ... I think he — he hears me," she said. "But he will do what he wants to do on the end. He's an adult. He knows the consequences. And I give him my opinion. And he could do whatever he likes with it.”
To put it simply, Melania Trump plans to fight online trolls — unless her husband is the troll.