In an interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity on Wednesday, First Lady Melania Trump addressed a range of topics, including the media's treatment of her husband.
"They like to focus on the gossip and I would like [them] to focus on the substance and what we do, not just about nonsense," Melania said of the media, adding that they were "opportunists ... using my name or my family name to advance themselves."
Melania identified those "opportunists" as "comedians," "journalists," "performers" and "book writers."
"Does it hurt?" Hannity asked the First Lady.
"It doesn’t hurt," she replied. "The problem is they’re writing history and it’s not correct."
The First Lady ultimately wished that the media would focus more on issues of substance and less on issues of gossip and sensation. In response to her critics, Melania said she always does the "right" thing and tries to "stay true" to herself.
When Hannity asked Melania to define what she means by staying true to herself, she said it's a matter of following her conscience. "I do what I think is right. I know I will get the criticism – from the public or from the media – but I will do what is right and what I feel is right for the country and for the people," she said. "That’s why I say I want to stay true to myself and listen to myself and what to do and what is right, what is wrong and live a meaningful life every day."
Regarding her path to becoming the First Lady, Melania admitted that she has come a long way. "It's incredible, especially when you think about your life and where you were born, and all the steps you took," she said. "It's not like you just end up here, you learn a lot on the way here. In my business, and fashion business, it's a tough business as well. Here, the politics, it's a tough business. You need to have very thick skin."
None of this means, however, that Melania Trump supports everything her husband says and does. In fact, she often tells him her opinion. "I follow what's going on, and I give my husband advice and my honest opinion. Sometimes he listens and sometimes he doesn't," she said. "I don't agree with his tone sometimes and I tell him that."
When asked how she would like the media to portray her husband, the First Lady said, "That he is fighting for the American people every day. He wants to guide them the right way and it's tough because sometimes the media wants to bash and focus on negativity."
In response to the interview, CNN took some shots at Melania, according to Fox News. On "Tonight with Don Lemon," CNN global affairs analyst Susan Glasser said Melania put off an "air of aggrievement."
"First of all, she has this incredible air of aggrievement," Glasser told CNN anchor Don Lemon. "Here is this extraordinary story of a woman who came to this country as an immigrant, as a model, and is now the First Lady of the United States and you would think in her rare public appearances, you know, that some terrible wrong has been done to her in this country. I’ve always been surprised by that air of grievance that she carries very publicly with her."
Later on in the program, CNN contributor Joan Walsh said the First Lady is a perpetual whiner.
"I’m sure privately, you’re allowed to grouse, but you know, if Michelle Obama had done half of the complaining that she has done in her limited interviews … she’d be skewered," Walsh said. "I mean, there’s just a constant sort of pity party whenever she gets in front of a microphone."