‘Never say never’: Melania Trump does not rule out second White House term
Melania Trump has refused to rule out a second term as first lady, should her husband capture the White House again.
“Never say never,” she said.
Related: Velvet gloves to iron fists: how complicit are the wives of dictators?
Donald Trump has strongly hinted he will try to take back the presidency he lost to Joe Biden but he has not formally announced a campaign.
The former president remains in legal jeopardy over his attempt to overturn his election defeat, and his business affairs.
The adult film producer and actor Stormy Daniels is among those who claim affairs with Donald Trump after he married Melania, which the Republican former president denies, but despite persistent rumours of an unhappy marriage made unhappier by the presidency, his third wife has stayed by his side.
“I like Washington DC,” Melania Trump told Fox News at Mar-a-Lago in Florida in her first formal interview since her husband left office in January 2021.
“I know it operates completely different than any other city. But I really liked it there and I really enjoyed living in the White House. To be the first lady of the United States was my greatest honour, and I think we achieved a lot in the four years of the Trump administration.
“I enjoyed taking care of the White House. It was my home for a while. I understood it is a people’s house. It was a privilege to live there.”
Her interviewer, Pete Hegseth, said: “And maybe it’ll be your home again?”
“Never say never,” Trump said.
Asked about “the state of the country right now”, Trump said: “I think it’s sad to see what’s going on if you really look deep into it. I think a lot of people are struggling and suffering.”
Asked about the crisis over supplies of baby formula, one of many dogging the Biden administration, Trump said it was “heartbreaking to see that they are struggling and the food is not available for children in 21st century in United States of America”.
The Slovenian-born first lady ascribed the crisis to a lack of “leadership” in the White House.
“I know that Covid brought another struggles to the people who were having problems before. But what’s going on is unthinkable. A lot of people are dying from drugs and it’s very hard to see,” she added, referring to record US overdose levels.
Asked about media hostility, Trump said: “People I see always criticise me whatever I do and I’m used to that. I move forward and I’m here to helping people and that is the mission. And those people who criticise me, I would encourage them to help in their own community or maybe join my Foster the Future initiative.”
In fact called Fostering the Future, the initiative to help children in foster care is an outgrowth of Be Best, which aimed in part to help children subject to bullying. Critics noted the irony of the-then first lady being married to a man who made bullying and harsh invective the core of his public persona.
Melania also discussed her sale of NFTs, digital artworks, inspired by her time in the White House, “some of the proceeds” of which she said would go to helping children in foster care.
In February, Bloomberg reported that Trump herself was behind the purchase for about $180,000 of one such artwork. She said “the transaction was facilitated on behalf of a third-party buyer”.
On Fox News, Trump, a former model, was also asked about a perceived snub by Vogue magazine, which has featured Jill Biden and the vice-president, Kamala Harris, on its cover but which, despite her “business background and … fashion background and … beauty” did not accord that honour to Trump while she was first lady.
“They’re biased and they have likes and dislikes,” Trump said, “and it’s so obvious. And I think American people and everyone see it. It was their decision, and I have much more important things to do, and I did in the White House, than being on the cover of Vogue.”
Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, a former friend and aide who wrote a tell-all memoir, has said Trump was offered a Vogue shoot but turned it down because the magazine would not guarantee her the cover.