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.

Lafayette
Clear
50° wxIcon
Hi: 59° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 50°
Kokomo
Partly Cloudy
48° wxIcon
Hi: 57° Lo: 40°
Feels Like: 45°
Rensselaer
Clear
43° wxIcon
Hi: 54° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 37°
Lafayette
Clear
50° wxIcon
Hi: 56° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 50°
Danville
Clear
45° wxIcon
Hi: 59° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 41°
Frankfort
Clear
46° wxIcon
Hi: 60° Lo: 42°
Feels Like: 43°
Frankfort
Clear
46° wxIcon
Hi: 58° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 43°
Monticello
Clear
45° wxIcon
Hi: 57° Lo: 40°
Feels Like: 41°
Monticello
Clear
45° wxIcon
Hi: 55° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 41°
Logansport
Clear
45° wxIcon
Hi: 57° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 45°
Rather Dry, Windy Forecast
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 700775

Reported Deaths: 13167
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion956451709
Lake51038935
Allen38781670
Hamilton34153404
St. Joseph33552538
Elkhart26950431
Vanderburgh21987393
Tippecanoe21560212
Johnson17387373
Porter17124297
Hendricks16690309
Clark12628190
Madison12271337
Vigo12126243
Monroe11302166
LaPorte10716204
Delaware10271184
Howard9590211
Kosciusko9037113
Hancock7896139
Bartholomew7824153
Warrick7665155
Floyd7526176
Wayne6865197
Grant6753168
Boone651099
Morgan6356138
Dubois6060117
Marshall5729108
Cass5662102
Dearborn566175
Henry5554100
Noble535583
Jackson490769
Shelby476095
Lawrence4322118
Gibson426188
Harrison425770
Montgomery415586
Clinton414753
DeKalb404883
Huntington375180
Whitley373939
Miami370865
Knox364689
Steuben360757
Putnam351460
Wabash345777
Jasper343746
Adams337452
Ripley332868
Jefferson307479
White306654
Daviess288299
Wells284480
Decatur278592
Fayette276962
Greene269385
Posey268033
Scott259053
Clay251544
LaGrange250170
Randolph234179
Washington229629
Spencer227331
Jennings224247
Fountain207445
Sullivan207341
Starke200352
Owen191056
Fulton190039
Jay185329
Carroll184820
Perry178936
Orange176152
Rush169824
Vermillion165643
Franklin165135
Tipton160843
Parke143616
Blackford132431
Pike129834
Pulaski112845
Newton102834
Brown99340
Crawford96914
Benton95313
Martin82215
Warren78815
Switzerland7698
Union69510
Ohio55511
Unassigned0405

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