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 8:33 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.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1000163

Reported Deaths: 16309
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1347632106
Lake660041156
Allen57441793
Hamilton46100461
St. Joseph44109607
Elkhart35696507
Vanderburgh32087477
Tippecanoe27796257
Johnson24902443
Hendricks23738354
Porter22802362
Madison18614404
Clark18424250
Vigo17347301
Monroe15180197
LaPorte15046250
Delaware14984259
Howard14626287
Kosciusko12217147
Hancock11630175
Bartholomew11505179
Warrick11255189
Floyd11013214
Wayne10897250
Grant9964218
Morgan9404176
Boone8863116
Dubois8227130
Dearborn817093
Henry8139151
Noble7984106
Marshall7838134
Cass7499119
Lawrence7403170
Shelby7138114
Jackson694088
Gibson6533113
Harrison644491
Huntington633999
Knox6273106
DeKalb626397
Montgomery6208109
Miami589797
Putnam575377
Clinton570271
Whitley560455
Steuben554675
Wabash5279101
Jasper524475
Jefferson506996
Ripley495685
Adams476073
Daviess4616113
Scott435869
Greene422096
Wells420987
Clay420260
White415962
Decatur4133101
Fayette404286
Jennings385160
Posey375343
LaGrange353978
Washington353249
Randolph341999
Spencer337342
Fountain332558
Sullivan326752
Starke313369
Owen312070
Fulton306567
Orange291762
Jay280445
Perry264752
Franklin264042
Carroll259132
Rush258832
Vermillion255454
Parke230026
Pike227943
Tipton226659
Blackford190540
Pulaski181855
Crawford158623
Newton156048
Benton150217
Brown144547
Martin137419
Switzerland134211
Warren120516
Union106815
Ohio84112
Unassigned0538

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1499485

Reported Deaths: 23327
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1626291662
Cuyahoga1447662412
Hamilton1044761409
Montgomery731681240
Summit610421094
Lucas55643904
Butler51076707
Stark459431053
Lorain35141568
Warren32476369
Mahoning30315672
Clermont27930321
Lake26669434
Delaware23960162
Licking23547283
Trumbull22550552
Fairfield22179241
Greene22098311
Medina21763305
Clark19630349
Richland18342280
Portage17696247
Wood17244220
Allen15730269
Miami15355296
Muskingum14551174
Columbiana13756263
Wayne13585263
Tuscarawas12479298
Marion11797175
Scioto11388154
Pickaway11286141
Erie10676180
Ross10462196
Lawrence9663137
Hancock9546149
Ashtabula9479197
Belmont9133197
Geauga8829157
Jefferson8481191
Huron8229139
Union810756
Washington8031137
Sandusky7724145
Athens769572
Knox7606138
Darke7553151
Seneca7208144
Ashland6817125
Auglaize667896
Shelby6410111
Brown628582
Crawford6184130
Defiance6087102
Mercer608293
Fulton592996
Highland590099
Madison587576
Clinton576190
Logan574692
Guernsey572467
Preble5660121
Putnam5250108
Williams520184
Perry512561
Champaign505071
Jackson498770
Ottawa479086
Coshocton471582
Morrow451256
Pike430762
Fayette422160
Adams411587
Gallia411265
Hardin411076
Van Wert364078
Henry357871
Holmes3567122
Hocking352578
Wyandot317961
Carroll297059
Paulding275945
Meigs259249
Monroe212953
Noble196546
Morgan190832
Harrison178242
Vinton162624
Unassigned05
Fort Wayne
Partly Cloudy
53° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 45°
Feels Like: 53°
Angola
Clear
52° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 52°
Huntington
Clear
53° wxIcon
Hi: 71° Lo: 44°
Feels Like: 53°
Decatur
Clear
53° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 45°
Feels Like: 53°
Van Wert
Partly Cloudy
60° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 45°
Feels Like: 60°
Cold front brings scattered rain showers midweek with much cooler air to follow.
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events