Melania Trump addresses cyberbullying summit

First lady Melania Trump spoke to representatives from social media companies and government agencies at the Federal Partners in Bullying Prevention (FPBP) Cyberbullying Prevention Summit.

Posted: Aug 21, 2018 8:38 AM
Updated: Aug 21, 2018 8:54 AM

First lady Melania Trump spoke out against cyberbullying Monday as part of her Be Best campaign, warning against "destructive and harmful" uses of social media and once again highlighting a messaging rift between the East Wing and the West Wing.

"In today's global society, social media is an inevitable part of our children's daily lives," Trump said at a cyberbullying summit in Rockville, Maryland. "It can be used in many positive ways, but can also be destructive and harmful when used incorrectly. This is why Be Best chooses to focus on the importance of teaching our next generation how to conduct themselves safely and in a positive manner in an online setting."

At the same time, President Donald Trump was on Twitter, railing against John Brennan, whom he called a "hack" and "the worst CIA Director in our country's history" as summit panelists discussed the need for adults to be "good digital role models" for children. Despite firing off multiple tweets Monday morning, none were about the first lady's Be Best initiatives or her speech.

The President's well-known Twitter habit, exemplified last week by his harsh attack on former White House aide Omarosa Manigault Newman, has drawn criticism and highlights the seeming disconnect between the East Wing and the West Wing.

"When you give a crazed, crying lowlife a break, and give her a job at the White House, I guess it just didn't work out. Good work by General Kelly for quickly firing that dog!" he tweeted.

The first lady's spokeswoman sought to downplay any disconnect between the East Wing and the West Wing, calling the first lady "independent."

"She's addressed this before. She is well aware of the criticism, but that will not deter her from doing what she feels is right. I would hope most people in this country are proud that they have a strong and independent first lady who only has the best interests of children at heart -- I know I am," the first lady's communications director Stephanie Grisham told CNN.

In a White House with a President who makes his own rules -- especially on social media -- his wife has faced criticism for being unable to curb her own husband's behavior. Instead, she's made an independent choice to do what she can.

"She is aware of the criticism but it will not deter her from doing what she feels is right. The President is proud of her commitment to children and encourages her in all that she does," Grisham said in a statement.

Responding to the apparent hypocrisy between the first lady's assertion that social media can be "destructive and harmful when used incorrectly" and the President's own habits, Grisham deflected.

"Rather than dissecting her remarks, let's focus on the countless children who struggle w bullying & online safety each day," she tweeted.

She later described Trump's advocacy against cyberbullying as "a sincere campaign meant to help children."

During her speech, the first lady acknowledged that children can be more aware of the "pitfalls" of social media than adults.

"Let's face it: most children are more aware of the benefits and pitfalls of social media than some adults, but we still need to do all we can to provide them with information and tools for successful and safe online habits," she said.

Be Best

Trump's Be Best campaign, which she launched in May, centers on three key issues for children: well-being, fighting opioid abuse and positivity on social media.

Speaking about her husband's social media habits in an interview on CBS' "60 Minutes" just after the 2016 election, Melania Trump said that sometimes it got him in trouble, "but it helped a lot, as well."

Asked whether she spoke up if she felt he crossed a line, the first lady said, "Yes, I tell him all the time."

But she conceded that at the end of the day, he does what he wants.

"I think he hears me. But he will do what he wants to do at the end. He's an adult. He knows the consequences. And I give him my opinion. And he could do whatever he likes with it," Trump said.

West Lafayette
Clear
69° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 69°
Kokomo
Clear
69° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 69°
Rensselaer
Clear
70° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 70°
Fowler
Clear
70° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 70°
Williamsport
Clear
71° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 71°
Crawfordsville
Clear
67° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 67°
Frankfort
Scattered Clouds
71° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 71°
Delphi
Clear
69° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 69°
Monticello
Clear
69° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 69°
Logansport
Clear
70° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 70°
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 50300

Reported Deaths: 2748
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion11920692
Lake5432248
Elkhart347058
Allen2902133
St. Joseph205169
Hamilton1665101
Cass16449
Hendricks1446100
Johnson1325118
Porter80238
Tippecanoe7599
Clark68144
Vanderburgh6816
Madison67264
LaPorte60527
Howard59458
Bartholomew59345
Kosciusko5704
Marshall5308
Noble50128
LaGrange4829
Jackson4783
Boone47444
Delaware46952
Hancock46036
Shelby43525
Floyd40444
Morgan33631
Monroe32928
Grant30926
Dubois2976
Henry29717
Montgomery29720
Clinton2893
White26810
Decatur25532
Dearborn25423
Lawrence25225
Vigo2478
Warrick24329
Harrison21722
Greene19332
Miami1922
Jennings17912
Putnam1728
DeKalb1674
Scott1639
Wayne1536
Daviess15017
Perry1459
Orange13723
Steuben1362
Jasper1332
Franklin1278
Ripley1277
Wabash1152
Carroll1132
Gibson1132
Fayette1057
Whitley1045
Newton10010
Starke983
Huntington932
Randolph794
Wells791
Jefferson782
Fulton731
Jay680
Washington681
Knox670
Clay665
Pulaski661
Rush613
Posey550
Owen521
Benton510
Spencer501
Adams491
Sullivan471
Brown431
Blackford402
Fountain352
Crawford330
Tipton321
Switzerland300
Martin240
Parke230
Ohio220
Vermillion200
Warren151
Union130
Pike110
Unassigned0193

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events