Melania Trump condemns Capitol violence, pushes back against her critics
Washington - First lady Melania Trump on Monday condemned the violence perpetrated at the Capitol last week by a pro-Trump mob and pushed back on what she characterized as "salacious gossip" and "unwarranted personal attacks" against her.
"It is inspiring to see that so many have found a passion and enthusiasm in participating in an election, but we must not allow that passion to turn to violence," Trump said in a statement published by the White House. "Our path forward is to come together, find our commonalities, and be the kind and strong people that I know we are."
The first lady also spoke out against those who had questioned her silence about the episode until this point.
"I find it shameful that surrounding these tragic events there has been salacious gossip, unwarranted personal attacks, and false misleading accusations on me - from people who are looking to be relevant and have an agenda," she said. "This time is solely about healing our country and its citizens. It should not be used for personal gain."
Her comments appeared to be directed at least in part at Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, a former adviser who wrote in a Daily Beast piece at the weekend that Melania Trump has been an enabler of her husband and has "blood on her hands."
"I wish I could say I was shocked by President Trump's actions, but sadly I can not, or say I don't comprehend Melania's silence and inactions, but pathetically, they are both expected," Wolkoff wrote. "Melania knows how to 'Be Best' at standing up and reading from a teleprompter and not from the heart. She and her husband lack character, and have no moral compass."