First lady Melania Trump is hardly seen outside of official engagements and for that, she has a sympathizer in her French counterpart Brigitte Macron.
Macron and her husband, French President Emmanuel Macron, were on a three-day visit to the United States and the first ladies spent a great of time together during the visit. The vivacious first lady in France is often seen smiling open heartedly at flashing cameras. Melania Trump, on the other hand, has remained tight-lipped and distant during public engagements, and prefers not to live in the White House.
But this unlikely companionship bloomed over visits to the museums, watching with disappointment as their respective husbands struggled with shovels, and time spent together where the two women laughed at each other’s quips.
Back home in France, Brigitte Macron had nothing but praise for Melania Trump, who she thought was a “charming, intelligent, and very open” person. However, she said Trump “cannot do anything.”
Macron told Le Monde that their time together was made a lot more fun because both of them have the same sense of humor and laughed a lot in each other’s company. Even as she bonded with Trump, Macron couldn’t help but pity her for the restrained life she lives.
“She can’t even open a window at the White House. She can’t stick her nose outside. She’s much more constrained than I am. Me, every day, I’m out in Paris,” she said.
Macron was apparently referring to the tight security conditions Trump has to live under in Washington. She also saw this restrictive attitude reflected in all aspects of public life in the United States.
She also asserted that while she tries to not be a “flowerpot” thriving in her husband’s shadow and makes it a point to have a normal life and meet up with her children from a previous marriage, that is not the case in the United States.
“Everything was very framed,” she said. “There were small labels on the ground. I put myself where I had to put myself.”
However, Macron could relate to the intense scrutiny Trump is under. Macron revealed that Trump has a “lot of character” but works really hard to hide it, perhaps because everything FLOTUS does is “interpreted, over-interpreted”.
The French first lady said she could empathize.
“I have the impression that every word is a word too many. I’m constantly holding myself back. That’s the hardest part: There’s never really any time off, never a moment when you can be completely calm.”
Banner/Thumbnail: REUTERS/Brian Snyder