Being Melania interview proves her the queen of barely coded messages | Meghan O’Rourke
From fashion choices to her marriage, ABC special reveals first lady is far from clueless and willing to bait those around her
Media can be very tricky sometimes, Melania Trump said back in 1999, in an interview with ABC News. You need to be very careful.
That wariness has, not surprisingly, stuck with her, which is why much of the new ABC special, Being Melania, consisted of her offering up vague bromides and an innocuous set of talking points: her independence, her own priorities, the Be Best initiative she launched earlier this year and the work of staying true to myself.
But, strikingly, there were also many moments when Melania seemed uninterested in being careful. And in that unwillingness to stick to her own talking points, we got a tiny glimpse of her spiky recalcitrance her refusal to be what either the left or right want her to be.
In general, being Melania meant not being entirely on script. She pronounced herself to be the most bullied person on the world. She freely noted that there are people in the White House she does not trust. (After ABC released an advance clip of Melanias comments on the White House, Trump himself called the producers to say that this was not his version of things.) She told Tom Llamas, her interviewer, she was blindsided by the policy of separating children from their parents at the border, and found it unacceptable. In this, she didnt play the usual role of the political wife, cannily couching disagreement and controlling the narrative to hide administrative chaos. She just seemed indifferent to such strategies.