Skip to main content
Canada’s most-awarded newsroom for a reason
Enjoy unlimited digital access
$1.99
per week
for 24 weeks
Canada’s most-awarded newsroom for a reason
$1.99
per week
for 24 weeks
// //

First lady Melania Trump participates in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve's Toys for Tots Drive, at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling, in Washington, on Dec. 8, 2020.

Patrick Semansky/The Associated Press

Melania Trump said Monday that she is “disappointed and disheartened” by the deadly riot at the Capitol last week by supporters of her husband. But in breaking her silence, she also lashed out at people she said have used the tragic event to spread “salacious gossip, unwarranted personal attacks and false and misleading accusations about me.”

The statement marked the first lady’s first public comment in the five days since a violent mob of Trump supporters, angry over Trump’s election loss and stirred up by the president himself, stormed the Capitol on Wednesday and temporarily disrupted proceedings certifying that Democrat Joe Biden will be the next president come Jan. 20.

“I am disappointed and disheartened with what happened last week,” she wrote in a White House blog post released before sunrise. “I find it shameful that surrounding these tragic events there has been salacious gossip, unwarranted personal attacks, and false misleading accusations on me – from people who are looking to be relevant and have an agenda.”

Story continues below advertisement

The first lady did not say who she was referring to. Last week, Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, the first lady’s former friend and one-time assistant at the White House, wrote an editorial accusing Mrs. Trump of being “complicit in the destruction of America.”

Their friendship ended bitterly after Wolkoff, who had worked on arranging festivities for Trump’s inauguration in 2017, said the first lady failed to defend her after questions arose about inaugural spending, now the subject of federal and congressional investigations.

In the post Monday, the first lady said, “This time is solely about healing our country and its citizens. It should not be used for personal gain.”

“Our Nation must heal in a civil manner,” she wrote. “Make no mistake about it, I absolutely condemn the violence that has occurred on our Nation’s Capitol. Violence is never acceptable.”

She also urged people to stop the violence, not judge people by the colour of their skin or “use differing political ideologies as a basis for aggression and viciousness.” She made no comment about her husband or his role in encouraging his supporters to go to the Capitol.

The president has spent the weeks after losing the November presidential contest spreading baseless claims that the balloting was tainted by massive fraud and that the election was stolen from him. Numerous state and federal officials, including former U.S. Attorney-General William Barr, said there was no evidence of fraud on a scale massive enough to have affected the outcome.

Trump encouraged his supporters to flock to Washington last Wednesday, the day set for Congress to certify the presidential vote. After addressing a rally near the White House in which he encouraged his supporters to keep fighting, they stormed the Capitol.

Story continues below advertisement

Five people, including a Capitol police officer, died.

Our Morning Update and Evening Update newsletters are written by Globe editors, giving you a concise summary of the day’s most important headlines. Sign up today.

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow topics related to this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies