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 7:54 AM
Updated: Aug 21, 2018 7:54 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.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 314509

Reported Deaths: 7247
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto21626259
Hinds20359415
Harrison17934309
Rankin13634278
Jackson13447246
Madison10099217
Lee9980174
Jones8381163
Forrest7683152
Lauderdale7191241
Lowndes6401147
Lamar623086
Lafayette6200118
Washington5339134
Bolivar4802132
Oktibbeha462798
Panola4588107
Pearl River4512146
Marshall4443103
Warren4393121
Pontotoc420772
Monroe4113133
Union411076
Neshoba4031176
Lincoln3968110
Hancock379386
Leflore3497125
Sunflower336090
Tate334084
Pike3325105
Scott315973
Alcorn313368
Yazoo311669
Itawamba300477
Copiah297065
Coahoma295479
Simpson295288
Tippah288768
Adams286882
Prentiss279760
Marion269280
Leake268373
Wayne262641
Grenada261487
Covington259681
George248048
Newton246861
Winston227281
Tishomingo226967
Jasper221148
Attala214473
Chickasaw207857
Holmes189173
Clay185454
Stone182833
Tallahatchie178841
Clarke178080
Calhoun170832
Yalobusha164338
Smith162434
Walthall133945
Greene130633
Lawrence128624
Montgomery126942
Noxubee126734
Perry126338
Amite123142
Carroll121829
Webster114532
Jefferson Davis107133
Tunica105726
Claiborne102430
Benton99525
Humphreys96733
Kemper95828
Franklin83823
Quitman80916
Choctaw76418
Wilkinson67331
Jefferson65728
Sharkey50217
Issaquena1686
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 532895

Reported Deaths: 11001
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson771431528
Mobile41089808
Madison34837505
Tuscaloosa25810454
Montgomery24355588
Shelby23730249
Baldwin21191309
Lee15892171
Calhoun14522316
Morgan14324279
Etowah13861353
Marshall12250223
Houston10581281
Elmore10060205
Limestone9986151
Cullman9705194
St. Clair9702243
Lauderdale9441242
DeKalb8846187
Talladega8255176
Walker7246277
Autauga6938108
Jackson6815112
Blount6694137
Colbert6310134
Coffee5524119
Dale4850111
Russell443238
Chilton4308112
Franklin426282
Covington4136118
Tallapoosa4039152
Escambia393977
Chambers3578123
Dallas3557152
Clarke351161
Marion3130101
Pike311377
Lawrence300798
Winston275673
Bibb261564
Geneva251477
Marengo249664
Pickens234761
Barbour231756
Hale223277
Butler216469
Fayette212562
Henry189044
Cherokee184745
Randolph181742
Monroe178040
Washington167639
Macon159950
Clay156857
Crenshaw152757
Cleburne149141
Lamar142935
Lowndes139053
Wilcox127130
Bullock122841
Conecuh110629
Coosa107928
Perry107826
Sumter104832
Greene92534
Choctaw61124
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