TRANSCRIPT: ABC News’ Tom Llamas interviews Melania Trump

First lady Melania Trump was interviewed by ABC News Chief National Affairs correspondent Tom Llamas on Oct. 5, 2018, at the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in Nairobi, Kenya. The following is a transcript of the ABC News special, “Being Melania — The First Lady,” which aired on Oct. 12, 2018.

TERRY MORAN: In Washington, people really don’t know her like they know most first ladies.

JONATHAN KARL: She is the most private first lady that we have seen in the modern era.

SHE’S ONE OF THE MOST RECOGNIZABLE FACES IN THE WORLD.

A STYLISH FIRST LADY — A DEVOTED MOTHER. BUT BEYOND THAT, MELANIA TRUMP REMAINS — FOR MANY AMERICANS — AN ENIGMA.

ANITA MCBRIDE: She’s a person of few words.

TERRY MORAN: She has that quality of mystery. A little bit of distance, almost regal.

ONCE A PRIVATE WOMAN, NOW THE MOST DEEPLY PERSONAL DETAILS OF HER LIFE ON FULL DISPLAY.

TOM LLAMAS: Finish this sentence for me. “Melania Trump is …”

MELANIA TRUMP: Ooh, that’s so many stuff. A mother. A wife. A daughter. A sister. A friend. The first lady of United States. Caring. Compassionate. Strong. Independent. Very detail-oriented. And — staying true to herself.

WE SET OFF WITH MELANIA TRUMP ON HER FIRST SOLO TRIP ON THE WORLD STAGE – FOR THE NEXT HOUR – THE GROUND RULES WILL BE SIMPLE: NO TOPIC IS OFF LIMITS.

THIS SCENIC WILDLIFE PRESERVE IN KENYA SERVING AS THE BACKDROP FOR HER FIRST EXTENSIVE SIT DOWN SINCE BECOMING FIRST LADY.

TOM LLAMAS: Mrs. Trump, first off, when you look at this view out here in beautiful Kenya, is this one of the best parts about being first lady?

MELANIA TRUMP: It’s one of the best parts, yes. But it’s also, when I travel across the world and across the country and meeting people, and helping them as much as I can.

HER CHOICE OF AFRICA RAISING ITS OWN QUESTIONS. SHE ANNOUNCED HER TRIP AFTER HER HUSBAND THE PRESIDENT REPORTEDLY MADE DEROGATORY COMMENTS ABOUT AFRICAN COUNTRIES

[NEWS CLIPS]

[ENTERTAINMENT SHOW CLIP]

WHATEVER WORDS THE PRESIDENT MAY HAVE USED — THE FIRST LADY ADMTS HIS POLITICS SOMETIMES MAKES HER JOB MORE DIFFICULT.

[NEWS CLIPS OF DONALD TRUMP]

TOM LLAMAS: What’s the most surprising thing about being first lady for you?

MELANIA TRUMP: It’s sad to see that — organizations and foundations that I want to partner with choose not to because the of administration. And I feel they choosing the politics over helping others.

TOM LLAMAS: Can you give me any examples?

MELANIA TRUMP: I would not talk about it. They know who they are.

TOM LLAMAS: What would you say is the toughest part about being first lady?

MELANIA: Sometimes it’s, you know, losing the privacy, that’s maybe the part that you always under the microscope. And I cannot freely move anymore.

TOM LLAMAS: Give me an example of something that you could do before that now you can’t do because you are first lady, as far as just everyday kind of living.

MELANIA TRUMP: Well, before I could easily move, like, in a minute I could go somewhere. Now it’s bigger production. You need to, wherever you go it’s a big, big production.

TOM LLAMAS: You know, our first, first lady, Martha Washington, famously said the role of first lady can sometimes feel like a state prisoner. Can you relate to that?

MELANIA TRUMP: I don’t feel like a prisoner. No. I enjoying it, and this will not last forever. And it’s very special time.

LESS SPECIAL ARE THE CONSTANT HEADLINES THAT SPECULATE ON ALL THINGS MELANIA INCLUDING WHERE THE FIRST LADY LIVES TO HER RELATIONSHIP WITH THE PRESIDENT

SALLY QUINN: We’ve seen her swat his hand away at events.

CECILIA VEGA: She wore that pink pussy bow blouse to the debate, where Donald Trump was talking about Bill Clinton’s accusers. She wore an all-white pantsuit to his first state of the union that made it look like this was a message of solidarity to Hillary Clinton, who had championed the white pantsuit.

TOM LLAMAS: What’s been the worst thing you’ve had to read about yourself since you’ve been in the White House?

MELANIA TRUMP: Well, it’s all the things that people say, that I’m not happy in the White House , that I don’t even live there.

TOM LLAMAS: That was something that was published in a newspaper

MELANIA TRUMP: Yes. Yes. And that I’m miserable in my marriage, that– I’m out of touch. There are so many things. I don’t know where to start.

BORN MELANIA KA-NAUSS IN 1970, IN A SMALL TOWN IN SLOVENIA SHE WORKED AS A FASHION MODEL IN ITALY AND FRANCE BEFORE MOVING TO NYC IN 1996. SHORTLY AFTER THAT, SHE MET A REAL ESTATE DEVELOPER WITH BIG BUILDINGS AND AN EGO TO MATCH.

[ENTERTAINMENT CLIP OF DONALD TRUMP AND MELANIA TRUMP]

THE COUPLE SPOKE ABOUT IT WITH BARBARA WALTERS DURING HIS CAMPAIGN.

[NEWS CLIP WITH DONALD TRUMP AND MELANIA TRUMP]

THE MOGUL AND THE MODEL WOULD MARRY IN 2005

[NEWS CLIP WITH DONALD TRUMP AND MELANIA TRUMP]

BUT THE BILLIONAIRE REAL ESTATE DEVELOPER ALWAYS TALKED OF BEING PRESIDENT AND MELANIA KNEW LONG AGO. HISDREAM COULD ONE DAY BECOME HER REALITY.

[NEWS CLIP OF MELANIA TRUMP]

LESS THAN 20 YEARS LATER, THAT FAMOUS ESCALATOR RIDE WOULD TAKE HER FROM HER FIFTH AVENUE PENTHOUSE ALL THE WAY TO THE WHITE HOUSE.

TOM LLAMAS: So these are photos

MELANIA TRUMP: Yes.

TOM LLAMAS: from your Twitter account. This is when you lived in New York before you were first lady. When you look at those photos now, I’d like you to see if you can go through them. When you see that person, that woman, what’s different about the woman in those photos and the woman that is now sitting across from me?

MELANIA TRUMP: No difference

TOM LLAMAS: The same?

MELANIA TRUMP: The same. I’m staying true to myself. I want to live meaningful life. And that’s the most important to me. I know what my priorities are.

And I’m focused on that.

TOM LLAMAS: You’re looking at those photos. What do you think?

MELANIA TRUMP: Interesting.

TOM LLAMAS: Yep. So, you loved your life in New York and in Trump Tower. Washington has been an adjustment. Have you made good friends in Washington?

MELANIA TRUMP: I have the same group of friends I had before. And I always prefer quality over quantity. I have a small group of friends, and I stay in contact with them through the phone and text messages.

TOM LLAMAS: Do you find that Washington is a place that you couldn’t make friends as far as trusting people?

MELANIA TRUMP: Sometimes you need to be careful.

TOM LLAMAS: There is a famous quote about making friends in Washington, right? When you come to Washington, something like that?

MELANIA TRUMP: Yes.

MELANIA TRUMP: If you wanna have a friend in Washington, buy a dog.

WHEN WE RETURN.

THE BLOWBACK FROM BEING MELANIA TRUMP

TOM LLAMAS: You think you’re the most bullied person in the world???

MELANIA TRUMP: Well …One of them.

AND

BREAKING HER SILENCE ABOUT HER HUSBANDS ALLEGED AFFAIR?

TOM LLAMAS: Were you hurt?

COMING UP

JON KARL: Melania Trump is the most fashion-forward, indeed, glamorous first lady we have seen since Jackie Kennedy.

BUT HOW WOULD A WOMAN – SEEMINGLY MORE COMFORTABLE ON THE PAGES OF MAGAZINES AND IN PHOTO SHOOTS FIND HER PLACE IN THE PEOPLES HOUSE?

COKIE ROBERTS: She had the least preparation of any First Lady in our history, with a possible exception of Martha Washington.

CECILIA VEGA: She was really on the outside. She was a former fashion model, married to a billionaire businessman.

TERRY MORAN: Other first ladies have been governor’s wives, senator’s wives, general’s wives. They’ve had years to prepare. This all came like a tornado at her.

THE JOB OF FIRST LADY COMES WITH NO SPECIFIC DUTIES. EACH DEFINING HER ROLE IN A UNIQUE AND PERSONAL WAY.

ABC NEWS GRANTED RARE ACCESS INSIDE MRS. TRUMP’S COMMAND CENTER. UNLIKE HER PREDECESSORS, IT’S A LEAN TEAM.

MELANIA TRUMP: I have a team of twelve. And they’re very professional, and very neat team. I also oversee almost 100 people in the residence, and working closely with White House Historical Association to restoring the people’s house.

STEPHANIE GRISHAM: Every event in the White House she oversees. The State Dinner, she took great care in everything from the menu, to the flowers. Easter egg roll. Many of the holiday events at the White House.

SHE’S MAINTANED A LOWER PROFILE THAN OTHER RECENT FIRST LADIES. SO FAR SHE’S HOSTED A SINGLE STATE DINNER BUT HER STAFF INSISTS SHE’S ENGAGED MORE THAN IT MAY APPEAR.

JONATHAN KARL: The First lady is expected by tradition to be out there to have a set list of causes.

FOR MELANIA TRUMP, THAT CAUSE IS “BE BEST”

[NEWS CLIP WITH MELANIA TRUMP]

TERRY MORAN: People like to get a sense that their First Lady’s a leader of our values in some ways.

[NEWS CLIP WITH MELANIA TRUMP]

CECILIA VEGA: The irony is lost on no one. Here she is championing this anti-cyberbullying initiative. And she is the wife of perhaps, one of the most well-known cyberbullies on the planet.

ONLINE AND IN PERSON – THE PRESIDENT CAN BE RUTHLESS.

[NEWS CLIP WITH DONALD TRUMP]

TOM LLAMAS: I’ve seen your speeches about Be Best. You make it a point to say adults have to set the example when it comes to Be Best and it comes to social media. Is it tough when your husband goes on Twitter, and he’s also been known to name call and be so aggressive and to bully.

MELANIA TRUMP: I don’t agree always what he posts. But his action is his action. And I tell him that. I will be hit with criticism to talking about cyber bullying. But it will not stop me to do what is right.

TOM LLAMAS: Did he ever tell you not to do cyber bullying?

MELANIA TRUMP: He didn’t say not to do it. He understands that he’s very tough on Twitter. But he understands that I wanna help next generation, and the children.

MELANIA TRUMP SAYS SHE KNOWS FIRST HAND WHAT IT’S LIKE TO BE TARGETED.

TOM LLAMAS: What happened to you personally, that you thought you wanted to tackle this issue?

MELANIA TRUMP: I could say I’m the most bullied person on the world.

TOM LLAMAS: You think you’re the most bullied person in the world?

MELANIA TRUMP: One of them, if you really see what people saying about me. And sometimes, you know, people would not say to you face to face, but they hiding behind the keyboards. And that’s the danger. That’s why I’m involved and focusing social

media, for the next generation. Because not everybody has a thick skin and they cannot handle it. And we have a big problem in United States and across the world.

CRITICS SAY THE BE BEST INITIATIVE AMOUNTS TO LITTLE MORE THAN A SLOGAN. BUT LAST WEEK, SHE TOOK THAT MESSAGE GLOBAL.

TOURING THE CONTINENT THE FIRST LADY VISITS CHILDREN FIGHTING THE HEAT AND POVERTY AT A SCHOOL IN MALAWI

SHE DELIVERED TEXTBOOKS AND SOCCER BALLS

BUT ECLIPSING SOME OF THE GOODWILL OF HER TRIP, WAS *THIS*

[NEWS CLIPS]

THEN– IN EGYPT —THE FIRST LADY TURNED ONE OF THE WONDERS OF THE WORD INTO HER OWN PERSONAL RUNWAY.

STEPHANIE GRISHAM: For the most part, she chooses her own clothes. She wore a safari hat on safari.

TERRY MORAN: It was like she was posing for a Hollywood movie. There’s style and there’s costume. And it looked like she was wearing a costume.

POSING FOR PHOTOS? NO PROBLEM BUT WHEN SHE’S ASKED ABOUT THOSE OUTFITS? THAT IS APPARENTLY OFF LIMITS.

[NEWS CLIP WITH MELANIA TRUMP]

COMING UP

THERE WAS ONE OUTFIT WE HAD TO ASK ABOUT: THE SEEN ROUND THE WORLD [ENTERTAINMENT CLIP]

TOM LLAMAS: Let’s talk about the jacket.

MELANIA TRUMP: The Jacket

TOM LLAMAS: Why did you wear it?

NEXT

Looming large over Melania Trump’s trip to Africa – the elephant in the room — those alleged derogatory comments from her husband:

[NEWS CLIP]

Jon Karl: It was a meeting with members of Congress. And some of them spoke about what the president said. This wasn’t exactly anonymous sources.

Melania Trump – herself an immigrant — also caught up in the middle of another immigrant flashpoint — and this time it’s a family affair — her husband’s opposition to so-called “chain migration.”

[NEWS CLIP]

A disaster? Melania Trump’s parents — recently naturalized — just benefited from the same chain migration their son-in-law denounces.

[GOOD MORNING AMERICA CLIP]

Tom Llamas: Your parents became citizens through family-based immigration. Your husband has called that chain migration. He wants that to end. Where do you stand?

Melania Trump: I believe in the policies that my husband put together. Because I believe that we need to be very vigilant who is coming to the country.

Tom Llamas: But do you think people should be able to bring in their mother and their father?

Melania Trump: Yes, of course. But they– we need to– we need to vet them. We need to know who they are.

Tom Llamas: Have you told your husband this?

Melania Trump: Yes, of course.

Tom Llamas: And what does he say?

Melania Trump: He agrees.

But if that’s the case – that’s something the President has never publicly outlined:

[NEWS CLIP OF DONALD TRUMP]

Tom Llamas: It sounds like what your husband says on immigration to the crowds, on Twitter, is different than the conversations you and him have. How do you sort of reconcile that?

Melania Trump: I don’t– I don’t think so. I think he believes the same. That chain migration, he doesn’t want to just cut it off completely. We need to vet the people, and we need to make sure that they believe in our system.

The White House didn’t respond to our request to confirm whether the President’s ban on chain migration excludes parents.

But it was with an immigration issue that Melania Trump found her strongest voice – taking on her own husband over his controversial policy of separating families crossing the border illegally.

[NEWS CLIP OF DONALD TRUMP]

Tom Llamas: So as the family separation was happening, was there an image or a moment for you that just drew the line that you said, “I have to get involved”?

Melania Trump: I saw it on the news, and I reacted right away.

Tom Llamas: Was it the kids in the cages? We interviewed mothers who were crying, saying they’d been separated for eight months from their children.

Melania Trump: Separation, yes. It was unacceptable for me to see children and parents separated. It was heartbreaking. And I reacted with my own voice. I went to the border and met with the Border Patrol.

[NEWS CLIP]

Chris Christie: Everybody was talking about it, but she actually got on a plane and went and she wanted to see for herself. Again, because I think there are moments when she believes that she can best explain things to the President.

[NEWS CLIP OF MELANIA TRUMP]

Tom Llamas: What did you learn at the border?

Melania Trump: I met with the Border Patrol agents, and they doing a great job. And after my trip, I ask them how I can help to reunite the children and parents.

Tom Llamas: What would your message be to those families that are still separated? There are hundreds of kids that are– that are still not with their parents. What would you tell them?

Melania Trump: I would tell them to keep strong and that– time will come. It– everything needs to go through the court system.

Tom Llamas: You know, it was under your husband’s policy, the zero-tolerance policy, that these families were separated. That enforcement. Is this somewhere where you disagreed with him?

Melania Trump: Yes, and I let him know. I didn’t know that that policy will come out. I was blindsided by it. I told him at home. And I said to him that I feel that’s unacceptable. And he felt the same.

One of the rare times President Trump has changed course on an issue – putting a stop to family separations

Cecilia Vega: This is certainly not a president who likes to reverse course when it comes to an issue. So if the First Lady is the one to convince him to end this family separations policy it really speaks to what a strong advisor she is in his inner circle.

But it was during that first trip to the border that the First Lady’s concern for those separated families was called into question – all because of that now infamous jacket.

[GOOD MORNING AMERICA NEWS CLIP]

Anita McBride: It really mattered a lot when she wore that jacket with those words on the back of it that nobody could really understand. That was so uncharacteristic really, because she doesn’t appear to be an uncaring or unfeeling person.

Cecilia Vega: The letters right there in large font, the first lady fully aware of the cameras and the eyes of the world watching.

The rampant speculation only fueled after the first lady’s communications director insisted there was no hidden message behind the jacket.

[TV CLIP]

Tom Llamas: Let’s talk about the jacket.

Melania Trump: The jacket.

Tom Llamas: Why did you wear it?

Melania Trump: You know, I often asking myself, if I would not wear that jacket, if I will have so much media coverage. And it’s obvious I didn’t wear the jacket for the children. I wore the jacket to go on the plane and off the plane. And it was for the people and for the left-wing media who are criticizing me. And I wanna show them that I don’t care. You could criticize whatever you wanna say, but it will not stop me to do what I feel is right.

Tom Llamas: What was it that compelled you to wear that at that moment? Because you were down there, you had just been with children and then you put the jacket on.

Melania Trump: I didn’t have a jacket when I was with the children After the visit I put it back on because I see how media got obsessed about it.

Tom Llamas: Your office had to release a statement during this time saying the jacket is just a jacket. So you were sending a message with the jacket?

Melania Trump: It– it was kind of a message, yes. I would prefer that they would focus on what I do and on my initiatives than what I wear.

Coming up – Melania Trump and MeToo – and for the first time – she addresses questions about her husband’s alleged affairs and the personal storm that hit the White House.

Tom Llamas: Has your husband apologized to you since you’ve been in the White House?

Stay tuned.

AS THE FIRST LADY STEPPED OFF THE PLANE ON THE SECOND LEG OF HER AFRICA VISIT,

THOUSAND OF MILES AWAY, HER HUSBAND HAD JUST MADE HEADLINES IN THE BITTER DEBATE OVER THE CREDIBILITY OF DOCTOR CHRISTINE BLASEY FORD WHO WAS AT THE CENTER OF THE KAVANAUGH HEARINGS.

[NEWS CLIP OF DONALD TRUMP]

TOM LLAMAS: Can women in the #MeToo movement call you a supporter?

MELANIA TRUMP: Women, they have always my support. I feel that women and men– they should be heard. And we should all be treated equal.

TOM LLAMAS: What is your take about the #MeToo movement, though? Do you believe in them? Do you support the #MeToo movement?

MELANIA TRUMP: I support the women, and they need to be heard. And you know, also men, not just women.

TOM LLAMAS: So when you say that, though, some people may– may interpret that to mean that– that you don’t fully support the #MeToo movement, or– or they go too far. Has the #MeToo movement gone too far?

MELANIA TRUMP: In certain times, yes.

TOM LLAMAS: Can you give me an example?

MELANIA TRUMP: Well, if somebody’s accused– with– stuff that is not– it’s not correct that somebody accused of somebody as they say, “You’re guilty before you innocent,” right? And– I don’t believe in that.

BUT FOR HER HUSBAND AND STEPSON, DON JR., IT IS MEN – NOT THE WOMEN – WHO HAVE MORE TO FEAR FROM THE ME TOO MOVEMENT.

[NEWS CLIP OF DONALD TRUMP]

[NEWS CLIP OF DONALD TRUMP, JR.]

TOM LLAMAS: Your son-in-law this past week said at this point in time he’s more concerned for his sons than his daughters. Your husband has agreed with him. Where do you stand?

MELANIA TRUMP: I think we need to be concerned for– for all of them. Not just boys or girls. I think for all of them.

TOM LLAMAS: Is this sort of a tough conversation you’ll eventually have, you think, with your son?

MELANIA TRUMP: I teach my son to be respectful and responsible, And I have a conversation with him already. He’s 12 and a half. And I think it’s very important, especially the world changed so much.

THAT WORLD HAS CHANGED FOR MELANIA TRUMP AS WELL.

[NEWS CLIP]

OVER A DOZEN WOMEN HAVE ACCUSED PRESIDENT TRUMP OF SEXUAL MISCONDUCT WHICH HE DENIES.

MELANIA TRUMP: They were– they were lies. And as I said before, all the accusations, they should– be handled in a court of law.

TOM LLAMAS: Do you think men in the– in the news that have been accused of– of sexual assault, sexual harassment, have been treated unfairly?

MELANIA TRUMP: Well, you need to have evidence. You need to have really hard evidence that, you know, that if you accuse of something, show the evidence.

TOM LLAMAS: Some women might hear that and say, “How could you say that, Mrs. Trump? You need to stand with women.” What would you say?

MELANIA TRUMP: I do stand with women. But we need to show the evidence.

BUT THIS PAST YEAR, A NEW SCANDAL BROKE THAT PLACED HER MARRIAGE UNDER THE WHITE HOT SCRUTINY OF THE PRESS ONCE AGAIN.

[NEWS CLIP]

WHEN THE NEWS BROKE JUST BEFORE THE ELECTION ABOUT PORN STAR STORMY DANIELS BEING PAID BY THE PRESIDENT’S PERSONAL ATTORNEY MICHAEL COHEN, TO STAY SILENT ABOUT THE ALLEGED AFFAIR, THERE WAS NO RESPONSE FROM THE FIRST LADY.

Cokie Roberts: There were lots of rumors that she was furious after the Stormy Daniels story became public. And she wasn’t seen in public for good while after that.

THOUGH THE WHITE HOUSE DENIED THE PRESIDENT HAD AN AFFAIR, MELANIA TRUMP CANCELLED PLANS TO TRAVEL WITH HER HUSBAND TO THE WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM IN DAVOS. THEN ARRIVED AT THE STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS SEPARATELY.

[NEWS CLIP]

ALL THIS RAISING SPECULATION ABOUT THE STATE OF THE FIRST COUPLE’S MARRIAGE.

TOM LLAMAS: You did agree to this interview, to your credit, with no preconditions.

MELANIA TRUMP: Correct.

TOM LLAMAS: Knowing that there could be some tough questions asked. You’re not the first, first lady to have to deal with her husband’s alleged infidelities. Has this put a strain on your marriage?

MELANIA TRUMP: It is not concern and focus of mine. I’m a mother and a first lady, and I have much more important things to think about and to do. I know people like to speculate and media like to speculate about our marriage. And circulate the gossip. But I understand the gossip sells newspapers, magazines, getting advertisers. And unfortunately we live– in this kind of world today.

TOM LLAMAS: Have you been hurt, though?

MELANIA TRUMP: Media what is speculating. Yeah, it’s not always pleasant, of course. But– I know what is right and what is wrong and what is true or not true.

TOM LLAMAS: A lot of people are gonna be watching this across the country, wondering how you have dealt with all this. There’s a human equation to this. So what’s in your heart? How do you deal with this?

MELANIA TRUMP: I’m very strong, and I know what my priorities are.

AT FIRST THE PRESIDENT DENIED ANY KNOWLEDGE ABOUT A PAYMENT TO STORMY DANIELS.

[NEWS CLIP OF DONALD TRUMP]

BUT ONE MONTH LATER… HE FINALLY ADMITTED KNOWING ABOUT THE PAYOFF.

[NEWS CLIP]

[NEWS CLIP OF RUDY GIULIANI]

THE NEXT DAY …THIS STATEMENT FROM THE FIRST LADY’S SPOKESPERSON “I DON’T BELIEVE MRS. TRUMP HAS EVER DISCUSSED HER THOUGHTS ON ANYTHING WITH MR. GIULIANI.”

TOM LLAMAS: The only time you have commented publicly, your office, was when Rudy Giuliani came out and said your thoughts about Stormy Daniels’ claims, and said, “She believes in her husband. She knows it’s not true.” Is that an accurate statement?

MELANIA TRUMP: I never talked to Mr. Giuliani.

TOM LLAMAS: Why do you think he came out and said that?

MELANIA TRUMP: I don’t know. You need to ask him.

[NEWS CLIP]

IT’S NOT THE FIRST TIME QUESTIONS HAVE ARISEN ABOUT HOW MELANIA TRUMP WOULD REACT TO SCANDALOUS REPORTS.

JUST A MONTH BEFORE THE ELECTION, THIS JAW DROPPING TAPE BETWEEN PRESIDENT TRUMP AND TV HOST BILLY BUSH, WAS LEAKED TO THE WASHINGTON POST.

[VIDEO CLIP]

[NEWS CLIP]

TOM LLAMAS: During the Access Hollywood incident during the campaign, your husband apologized to you. Has your husband apologized to you since you’ve been in the White House?

MELANIA TRUMP: Yeah, he apologized.

TOM LLAMAS: Can you tell us what he apologized about?

MELANIA TRUMP: You know, I know I’m the first lady, but I’m also a mother and a wife. So I will keep some private thoughts for myself. So, we’ll leave it at that.

THEN, JUST YESTERDAY, THE WHITE HOUSE HAD THIS CLARIFICATION: “THE PRESIDENT OFTEN APOLOGIZES TO MRS. TRUMP FOR ALL THE MEDIA NONSENSE AND SCRUTINY SHE HAS BEEN UNDER SINCE ENTERING THE WHITE HOUSE.”

NEXT

WHOS’S IN, WHO’S OUT. AND DID MELANIA HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH IT?

TOM LAMAS: Has he had people that you didn’t trust working for him?

MELANIA TRUMP: Yes.

PLUS, SECRET SIGNALS? FROM INSIDE THE MOST SCRUTINIZED MARRIAGE ON THE PLANET.

Cecilia Vega: Is she speaking to the President? Is she speaking to the media?

Llamas: When we return.

Across Africa, we witnessed a First Lady seeming to campaign for a more compassionate role for America around the world — from meeting new mothers in Ghana to dancing with orphans in Kenya.

MELANIA TRUMP: I think it is a very important that we show the world that America cares. That this administration cares and I care. When other people have more opportunities then the world is freer.

But that message seems in stark contrast to the Trump doctrine:

[CLIP OF DONALD TRUMP AT THE UNITED NATIONS]

Cecilia Vega: ‘America first’ is the name of the game for this administration and President Trump proposed limiting U.S. aid by 40 percent, but Congress did not approve that.

One of the targets of the President’s proposed cuts – an agency whose work the First Lady highlighted while in Africa — the US Agency for International Development.

TOM LLAMAS: Your husband has wanted to slash the funding for USAID, do you agree with that?

MELANIA TRUMP: Well they’re looking into it. USAID, it’s helping the countries for self-reliance and it will take a long time. We still need to help them but we will see. It’s still in the open stages.

TOM LLAMAS: What will you tell president Trump about USAID and the work they are doing here in Africa?

MELANIA TRUMP: I will give him my feedback. What I saw and what I learned.

And those close to him say that if anyone can get the famously stubborn President to change his mind on an issue – it’s his own wife.

Chris Christie: She’s the most powerful ally you can get if you’re attempting to influence Donald Trump. No one, I know him for a long time, no one influences Donald Trump more than Melania Trump. Nobody.

TOM LLAMAS: One of the president’s closest friends, Tom Barrack, Jr. told Vanity Fair, “The one who has the most control over Donald Trump is Melania, 100%.” Is that true?

MELANIA TRUMP: Oh, I wish. I give him my honest advice and honest opinions. And then he does what he wants to do.

TOM LLAMAS: Sources have told us, sources in the White House, that you are the gatekeeper. That you tell him who he can trust and who he can’t trust. Is that true?

MELANIA TRUMP: Yes, I give him my honest advice.

TOM LLAMAS: He’s been in office now almost two years. Has he had people that you didn’t trust working for him?

MELANIA TRUMP: Yes.

TOM LLAMAS: Did you let him know?

MELANIA TRUMP: I let him know.

TOM LLAMAS: And what did he do?

MELANIA TRUMP: Well, some people, they don’t work there anymore.

In fact – the Trump White House is notorious for its swiftly revolving door –

[NEWS CLIPS]

At this point in the President’s term, more people have left than in any administration in history. It’s even been dubbed: “Survivor: the White House Edition”

Cecilia Vega: This administration has struggled to keep people inside the West Wing, partly because it’s just so chaotic there.

Jon Karl: It’s a very tough environment because you always have to figure out where the president is gonna be and you could be thrown off course at any minute

And even the loyalty of those remaining in the White House was cast in doubt after that bombshell NY Times op-ed. In it…an anonymous senior administration official claimed there was a “quiet resistance” among staffers opposing the President.

TOM LLAMAS: Do you think there’s still people there that he can’t trust?

MELANIA TRUMP: Yes.

TOM LLAMAS: Still working now?

MELANIA TRUMP: Yes.

TOM LLAMAS: How hard do you think it is for him to be president, knowing that there’s also that contingent of people that are close to him?

MELANIA TRUMP: Well, it’s harder to governor– governing. It’s– you know, you always need to watch your back.

After ABC News released an advance clip of what the First Lady said – it made headlines – prompting the President to respond yesterday morning.

Ainsley Earhardt 8:24:12: Is that true, A, and B, if that’s true why are they still in the White House.

[NEWS CLIP OF DONALD TRUMP]

But with all of that infighting, backstabbing and intrigue – we wondered if the First Lady had any qualms about sticking around the White House for a possible second term.

TOM LLAMAS: Your husband most likely will run for reelection. Are you looking forward to possibly six more years in the White House?

MELANIA TRUMP: I believe that my husband is doing an incredible job for this nation. And I want that American people have a success. So whatever he will decide, I will support him.

Tom Llamas: But are you looking forward to it?

Melania Trump: I’m enjoying it. I really love to live in the Washington and in the White House.

The First Lady may love living in the White House – but we still had one more question – what about her feelings for the man living there with her?

Tom Llamas: You mentioned you still have a good marriage. Do you love your husband?

When we return.

RIGHT NOW, NO MARRIAGE ON THE PLANET…MORE TALKED ABOUT, GOSSIPED ABOUT, WHISPERED ABOUT THAN THEIRS. ON THE PUBLIC STAGE…IN FRONT OF THE CAMERAS, HE IS THE PROUD HUSBAND.

[NEWS CLIP OF DONALD TRUMP]

AND FOR YEARS, SHE – ADORING HIM.

[NEWS CLIP OF MELANIA TRUMP]

BUT UNDER THE GLARE OF THE PRESIDENTIAL SPOTLIGHT…PHOTOS AND MOMENTS EMERGING…NOT IN LINE WITH THE IMAGE OF AN IDEAL MARRIAGE.

[ENTERTAINMENT SHOW CLIP]

JON KARL: People try to scrutinize every little movement, did she swat away his hands.

CECILIA VEGA: People play this guessing game about is she speaking to the president, is she speaking to the media, is this some kind of subliminal message. Part of that is because we don’t hear a lot from her.

CHRIS CHRISTIE: I think it’s a misunderstood marriage from the outside. I see them together frequently, and there’s real affection and there’s real respect there.

TERRY MORAN: For people who like President Trump, she is a great, elegant asset to him and to the country. She’s a great First Lady. For people who don’t like President Trump, she is either the beauty who lives with the beast, or the princess trapped in the castle with the dragon, or the arm candy on the billionaire.

SO WE ASKED MELANIA TRUMP HERSELF FOR THE FINAL ANSWER.

TOM LLAMAS: You mentioned you still have a good marriage. Do you love your husband?

MELANIA TRUMP: Yes, we are fine. Yes. It’s what media speculate, and it’s gossip. It’s not always correct stuff.

THE MYSTERY OF THE NATION’S MOST SCRUTINIZED MARRIAGE, NOT QUITE SOLVED.

TOM LLAMAS: Knowing what you do now, what advice would you have given yourself on January 20th, 2017?

MELANIA TRUMP: Listen yourself the way you always listen yourself. I always ask myself what is my priority. What I wanna do. What is good for our child and for me and for my husband. And I took those steps.

TOM LLAMAS: Thank you, Mrs. Trump.

MELANIA TRUMP: Thank you.

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