Melania Trump says 'violence is never justified' in final address as First Lady

19 January 2021, 07:57

The Trumps have largely been out the public eye since the storming of the Capitol on January 6
The Trumps have largely been out the public eye since the storming of the Capitol on January 6. Picture: Twitter

By Matt Drake

Melania Trump has claimed "violence is never the answer" in her farewell address, just weeks after a mob of Donald Trump supporters stormed the US Capitol.

During her six-minute address, she made only a fleeting reference to her husband.

The First Lady paid tribute to military families, pandemic health workers as well as those helping victims of opioid abuse.

Melania also mentioned her "Be Best' campaign, calling for Americans to 'be best' to each other.

Be Best is a campaign promoted by Melania which focuses on youth and is against bullying and drugs, especially opioid.

She said: "Do not lose sight of your integrity and values. Use every opportunity to show consideration for another person, and build good habits into your daily lives.

"In all circumstances, I ask every American to be an ambassador of Be Best. To focus on what unites us, to raise above what divides us, to always choose love over hatred, peace over violence, and others before yourself

"Be passionate in everything you do. But always remember that violence is never the answer, and will never be justified.

"When I came to the White House, I reflected on the responsibility I have always felt as a mother to encourage, give strength and teach values of kindness."

Read more: Trump 'to issue 100 pardons this week - but won't pardon himself'

Donald Trump's departure from the White Office has been extremely controversial after he refused to step down following the result of the election.

He claimed there was mass voting fraud and has declined to congratulate his successor.

Mr Trump and his wife have also not invited President-Elect Joe Biden and his wife Jill for the traditional tea visit in the Oval Office and they will also not attend the presidential inauguration.

Read more: Biden inauguration rehearsal evacuated after security alert

Melania will be the first modern first lady not to invite the woman who will replace her to the White House for a walk-through of the private living quarters.

Even Michelle Obama gave her a tour after Donald Trump won the presidency.

The Trump dynasty has been mired in controversy as it broke many presidential traditions and practices.

Melania herself caused controversy when a leaked recording of her saying "who gives. f*** about Christmas?" In October.

Trump last week became the first US President in history to be impeached for a second time over his involvement in riling up a crowd of his supporters before they attacked the Capitol in Washington DC on 6 January.

Five people - including a police officer - were killed in the riots.

Elsewhere, on Monday, Mr Biden's inauguration ceremony dress rehearsal was paused and evacuated after a fire in a nearby homeless encampment triggered a security alert.

US Secret Service tightened security in and around the Capitol a week early in preparation for Biden's inauguration, and the city centre is essentially on lockdown with streets blocked, high fencing installed and tens of thousands of National Guard and other law enforcement officers stationed around the area.

But US defence officials, worried about a potential insider attack or other threat from service members involved in securing the event, pushed the FBI to vet all of the 25,000 National Guard troops coming into the area.