Speaking at the Family Online Safety Institute conference in Washington, D.C. on Thursday, First Lady Melania Trump addressed those who have criticized her for choosing to tackle cyberbullying via the “Be Best” initiative.
“As I have said before, it is not news or surprising to me that critics and the media have chosen to ridicule me for speaking out on this issue, and that’s okay,” Mrs. Trump said.
“I remain committed to tackling this topic because it will provide a better world for our children,” she told critics. “And I hope, that like I do, you will consider using their negative words as motivation to do all you can to bring awareness and understanding about responsible online behavior.”
Critics have highlighted past comments from President Donald Trump to poke at Melania’s choice initiative. In a video from The Washington Post, for example, clips of Trump hurling insults at political opponents and reporters alternate with clips of the First Lady calling for respect and the end to cyberbullying.
Following Melania’s remarks on Thursday, CNN’s Don Lemon, right on cue, went after Mrs. Trump, calling her initiative irrelevant.
“Considering especially the tweets this morning from her husband, why is this relevant right now?” mocked Lemon, referencing tweets Trump posted about the “very dishonest” Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
“I don’t really care, do you?” he jabbed. The First Lady wore a jacket with that quote during a visit at the Texas/Mexico border. She later revealed that it was a message directed at the media.
Earlier in the speech, Melania asked, “How can we teach our children not just the importance of online safety, but the need for online responsibility?”
“‘Be Best’ is dedicated to shining a light on programs that address this very question,” she said.
“Teaching children the importance of being safe and positive online is crucial to creating a better future for the next generation,” said the First Lady. “We must give children the tools needed for success at a very young age, and this includes helping them grasp online responsibility, and the importance of their overall well-being in the online world.”