WASHINGTON -- First lady Melania Trump says she could be "the most bullied person" in the world, judging by "what people are saying about me."
She made the remark during a television interview in which she promoted her Be Best initiatives, which take on online bullying. Critics have pointed out that her husband, President Donald Trump, routinely mocks people for their looks and for what he says is a lack of talent or intelligence.
"I could say I'm the most bullied person in the world," Melania Trump said in a segment of an interview with Tom Llamas that aired Thursday on Good Morning America.
Pressed on that assertion, she added: "One of them, if you really see what people are saying about me."
"That's why my Be Best initiative focuses on social media and online behavior," Trump added. "We need to educate the children of social, emotional behavior, so when they grow up and they know how to deal with those issues."
Asked for examples of the first lady being bullied, spokesman Stephanie Grisham pointed to comments her boss has received in response to Twitter posts.
Since her arrival at the White House, Trump's appearance and clothing choices have been heavily scrutinized and her accent has been the source of jokes, including by late-night host Jimmy Kimmel. Her Be Best initiative also has been the target of heavy online criticism.
The first lady also said there are people in the White House whom she and the president can't trust. She didn't name names but said she let her husband know about them.
"Well," she said, "some people, they don't work there anymore."
Asked if some untrustworthy people still work in the White House, she said, "Yes."
"It's harder to govern," she added. "You always need to watch your back."
Her comments come in the wake of an anonymous op-ed in The New York Times last month claiming that there is a "resistance" within the Trump administration. The Times said the piece was written by a senior administration official, whose identity has not become public.
Asked about his wife's assertions during an interview Thursday on Fox News Channel, Donald Trump blamed being a newcomer to Washington for some of his picks and said he is happier with his team now.
"I didn't know people in Washington, and now I know everybody," he said. "I know some that I wish I didn't know."
He said he has "great people right now working."
"Are there some that I'm not in love with? Yes," Trump said. "And we'll weed them out slowly but surely."
During the ABC interview, Llamas asked Melania Trump whether she has the most control over her husband's decisions of those in the White House.
"Oh, I wish," she said, laughing.
"I give him my honest advice and honest opinions, and then he does what he wants to do," she said.
The first lady's full interview, conducted on her recent trip to Africa, is set to air tonight on ABC.
Information for this article was contributed by Dino Hazell of The Associated Press; and by John Wagner of The Washington Post.
A Section on 10/12/2018
Print Headline: First lady says she may be 'most bullied'