Saturday, July 28, 2018

HuffPo: Melania Trump’s Press Strategy Is Looking More And More Like Her Husband’s

by Marina Fang

A more combative tone is coming from the East Wing, and it’s a sharp contrast to what Americans saw from previous first ladies.

“Melania Trump has freedom over her own remote control,” began a New York Times story earlier this week, which could have been mistaken for satire from “The Onion,” but was in fact real life.

The story referred to a statement the first lady’s communications director Stephanie Grisham gave to CNN, proclaiming that Trump can watch “any channel she wants.” That was in response to an earlier Times report that President Donald Trump became enraged that his wife watched CNN, which he frequently calls “fake news.”

Grisham’s statement also sidestepped questions about that day’s major story, the president’s longtime personal attorney Michael Cohen releasing an audio tape of him and the then-presidential candidate discussing a payment to kill a story of an alleged extramarital affair.

She instructed reporters to instead focus on the first lady’s “Be Best” children’s initiatives, to which her husband has devoted little attention since becoming president.

The response on Wednesday was one of several recent examples in which the first lady appeared to take a page from the president’s media criticism playbook. Using similar rhetoric to that of her husband, she tweeted in May that “the media is working overtime speculating where I am,” referring to reports on how she had not appeared in public for nearly a month — unusual for a public figure such as the first lady.

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