Melania Trump hit back at critics of her 2018 trip to visit children separated from their parents at the US-Mexico border, according to audio shared with CNN by her former adviser.
"Give me a f---ing break," Trump said, adding that she was trying to get a family reunited and the US takes better care of the children than their own countries, according to CNN.
Trump was criticized after the visit for wearing a jacket many viewed as insensitive, given the "zero-tolerance" policy pushed by her husband's administration that has left thousands of families separated.
CNN reported she also complained about "crazy" liberals and some of her duties as first lady, saying: "Who gives a f--- about Christmas stuff and decorations?"
In an expletive-laden rant, Melania Trump railed against critics of her visit to the US-Mexico border, complained about some of her duties as first lady, and called liberals "crazy," according to audio shared with CNN on Thursday by her former friend and adviser Stephanie Winston Wolkoff.
"I'm working on Christmas and planning for the Christmas, and they said: 'Oh, what about the children, that they were separated.' Give me a f---ing break," Trump said, according to the audio released by Wolkoff.
Trump also said in the recordings that she was trying to get a child reunited with his mom and the US was taking better care of the children than the countries they left. She also dismissed the crises, such as gang violence, that refugees from Central America have said they're fleeing.
Wolkoff's "only intent was to secretly tape the First Lady in order to peddle herself and her salacious book. There is no way to know if these recordings have been edited and it's clear the clips were hand-picked and presented with no context," Stephanie Grisham, Trump's spokesperson, said in a statement to Business Insider.
In June 2018, the first lady made a surprise trip to Texas to visit migrant children detained while crossing the border amid a firestorm over the Trump administration's "zero-tolerance" family-separation policy. While boarding the plane, she was photographed wearing a jacket that read: "I really don't care. Do U?"
—Anderson Cooper 360° (@AC360) October 2, 2020
"The jacket was a means to an end," Wolkoff told CNN's Anderson Cooper. "It was a publicity stunt, and it was to garner the attention of the press to make sure that everyone was aware that Melania was going to the border."
Despite the criticism from many who felt the wardrobe choice was insensitive to the thousands of families separated under the policy, Trump hit back, saying part of her goal was "driving liberals crazy" and that "they deserve it ... they're crazy."
"Where they were saying anything when Obama did that?" she said, echoing a false claim previously made by President Donald Trump that his predecessor had a similar family-separation policy. (Obama did face a surge of migrants at the border and faced criticism.)
Melania Trump also complained about some of her duties as first lady, including helping plan the Christmas decorations and being viewed as complicit in her husband's agenda.
"They say I'm complicit, I'm the same like him, I support him, I don't say enough, I don't do enough," she said. "I'm working like — my ass off, with Christmas stuff that, you know, who gives a f--- about Christmas stuff and decorations, but I need to do it right?"
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