A recent New York Times profile on Melania Trump, wife of racist, queerphobic U.S. President Donald Trump, reveals that he actually opposes his wife’s widely ridiculed Be Best campaign against cyberbullying. This is particularly interesting considering his own habit of online bullying and the fact that 52% of LGBTQ people between ages 11 and 22 have experienced cyberbullying (that’s three times more often than non-LGBTQ youth). The New York Times profile also shares other unflattering details of the Trumps.
The New York Times says that despite the first lady’s wishes to spearhead a serious child campaign and a second project to address opioid addiction, her ambitions were “whittled down” to the Be Best campaign, which she unveiled in May 2018.
The New York Times writes, “The president suggested that Mrs. Trump choose a different topic to avoid questions about how the wife of a notorious Twitter bully could lead a campaign to spotlight anti-bullying and other child wellness efforts, and he warned her that she was opening herself to such jeers, people familiar with the conversations said. She rejected his advice, and publicly said she was willing to face the criticism.”
The profile goes on to say that Melania was frustrated by her husband not publicly or privately supporting the Be Best campaign. She hasn’t participated in a dedicated Be Best event since June 2018 and has only mentioned Be Best “during five tightly controlled solo appearances since.”
And yet, Melania’s spokesperson told The New York Times the Be Best campaign “is exactly what she wants it to be, and has been a success.”
OK, lady, whatever you say.
Other schadenfreude-y tidbits from the profile include reports that their relationship behind closed doors “is not particularly warm.” One person says, “Mrs. Trump was far more relaxed outside the presence of her husband than when he was around.”
Also, Trump’s Twitter rants apparently “exhaust Mrs. Trump,” and they have separate bedrooms in the White House and stay in separate hotel suites when they travel.
And before you start feeling sorry for Melania, like she’s a delicate canary trapped in a gilded cage, just remember Melania’s support for the birther conspiracy theory that claimed former U.S. President Barack Obama wasn’t truly American, and the fact that she refused to tell her online supporters not to issue anti-Semitic death threats against a Jewish writer who wrote an unflattering profile of her in GQ.
Be Best indeed.