Melania Trump prays, assails critics in Florida speech

2017-02-19 13:13
 First lady Melania Trump speaks at the "Make America Great Again Rally" at Orlando-Melbourne International Airport in Melbourne, Florida. (Susan Walsh, AP)

First lady Melania Trump speaks at the "Make America Great Again Rally" at Orlando-Melbourne International Airport in Melbourne, Florida. (Susan Walsh, AP)

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WATCH: Trump, Pence families dance to My Way at Liberty Ball

2017-01-21 14:36

After being sworn in as the 45th president of the United States, Donald Trump chose Frank Sinatra's My Way as his first dance with wife Melania during the Liberty Ball.WATCH

Melbourne – US First Lady Melania Trump, usually a demure and soft-spoken presence at her husband's side, broke with form on Saturday, reciting the Lord's Prayer before issuing a scathing rebuke of his enemies and her critics at a campaign-style stop in Florida.

Preceding her husband on the dais at a rally in the city of Melbourne, the first lady started her remarks with the words "let us pray," before beginning her recitation of the Christian prayer.

"Our Father, who art in Heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven," Mrs Trump read from the lectern, wrapping up the roughly half-minute-long prayer with an "Amen".

‘My husband is creating a country of safety’ 

She then launched into an uncharacteristically strident defence of her husband - and her own brief tenure as first lady.

"The America we envision is one that works for all Americans and where all Americans can work and succeed," she said.

"A nation committed to a greater civility and unity between people from all sides of the political divide. I will always stay true to myself and be truthful to you, no matter what the opposition is saying about me," said the first lady.

"I will act in the best interests of all of you. I'm committed to creating and supporting initiatives dear to my heart which will have impact on women, and children all around the world," she said.

"My husband is creating a country of great safety, and prosperity," the first lady said before introducing President Donald Trump, ceding the podium to cheers and applause.

Melania Trump has been a rare presence with her husband since the inauguration.

‘A campaign rally for America’

To the dismay of some critics, she has decided to continue living at their palatial residence in Trump Tower in New York until their 10-year-old son Barron finishes the school year.

Purists and traditionalists have been disappointed that the first lady has not kept with precedent and immediately joined her husband in the White House residence.

President Donald Trump hits the campaign stump for a rally in Melbourne, a city on Florida's famed Space Coast, seeking to reconnect with his tribe of largely white, male middle-class voters.

He delivered a speech lasting about 45 minutes in what was billed by the White House as "a campaign rally for America".

After pressure from US lawmakers, Melania Trump announced this week that the White House will finally reopen to the public in early March, nearly seven weeks after her husband Donald became president.

White House tours are highly popular with visitors to Washington, a perk arranged by members of Congress for their constituents and foreign embassies for their nationals.

Some members of Congress had begun complaining about the long delay in restarting tours that had been suspended since Trump's inauguration January 20, and some critics have blamed the delays on Melania extended absence.

However, criticism of the first lady has been mild compared to the blistering attacks lodged against her embattled husband, who is engaged in open warfare with the media and facing a major political contretemps over allegations of possible ties between his senior aides and officials in Russia.

The controversy led to the resignation earlier this week of national security adviser Michael Flynn.

Read more on:    donald trump  |  melania trump  |  us

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