Melania Trump’s trip to Ghana, Malawi, Kenya, and Egypt last week meant that she was absent from much of the controversy surrounding the investigation into claims of sexual assault against Brett Kavanaugh, and she skipped his ceremonial swearing-in as a Supreme Court justice Monday night because of a “prior commitment.”
Even so, the first lady couldn’t totally escape having a frank conversation about #MeToo. During her visit to Kenya, Trump made time for an exclusive sit-down interview with ABC News’ Tom Llamas, who wasted no time in pinning down her views. The interview will air in its entirety on Friday.
— Good Morning America (@GMA) October 10, 2018
With her white pith helmet — which many critics blasted as “colonialist” — perched on a nearby table, FLOTUS fielded the reporter’s questions about whether she backs the #MeToo movement.
In contrast to the video clip of her husband urging his supporters to “think of your son, think of your husband,” she initially answered in the affirmative.
“I support the women, and they need to be heard,” she responded, before qualifying her remark. “We need to support them — and also men, not just women.
“We need to have really hard evidence … if you accuse [someone] of something, show the evidence,” she continued.
Llamas challenged that response, noting that some people might see it as being at odds with the idea of believing women.
“I do stand with women,” she insisted. “But we need to show the evidence. You cannot just say to somebody, ‘I was sexually assaulted’ or ‘you did that to me’ … because sometimes the media goes too far in the way they portray some stories. It’s not correct. It’s not right.”
It’s not the only time she spoke about sexual assault allegations during her trip. In Egypt, she told reporters that Kavanaugh was “highly qualified for the Supreme Court,” but added that she was pleased that accuser Christine Blasey Ford “was heard.”
“We need to help all the victims, no matter what kind of abuse they had,” she added.
The interview also addressed President Trump’s alleged infidelities and their impact on their marriage. The first lady also took the opportunity to express her frustration about being snubbed by foundations she’d like to work with because of opposition to the Trump White House.
“I feel like they’re choosing politics over helping others,” she told Llamas.
Meanwhile, her #MeToo remarks have already triggered backlash.
— Christine Spadafora (@christinespad) October 10, 2018
There's absolutely no evidence of the abuse and assaults that I went through at the ages of 7, 10, and 12 by different people. Sorry Melania! I guess my 7-year old self should have kept DNA evidence that we couldn't even test 35 years ago. #MeToo
— Laura Dail (@tazztunes) October 10, 2018
@FLOTUS Mrs Trump I cry as I text you I am 57 & @ 17 I was sexually assaulted The only proof is my memories I am disgusted & still hurt by the pain Please don't say there must be proof sexual assault doesn't usually have witnesses try to understand #MeToo I send my respect to you
— Theresa Maria Conde (@conde_theresa) October 10, 2018
Read more from Yahoo Lifestyle: