Melania reveals truth about Trump marriage
SINCE moving into the White House more than 18 months ago, Melania Trump has rarely ever given interviews to the media.
But at the end of her major trip to Africa this week, the US First Lady sat down for a wide-ranging conversation where no question was off limits.
The wife of President Donald Trump spoke to the American network ABC about her marriage, the pressure she felt from reporting of her husband's alleged infidelity and her view that she is "the most bullied person in the world".
As Being Melania aired in the US on Friday night (Saturday afternoon AEDT), social media reaction was mostly positive.
The television news website Deadline declared that the special contained "no shockers" but painted a picture of a poised and confident Ms Trump.
While there were no bombshells, there were some interesting and somewhat candid revelations from one of the world's most intriguing women.
HER MARRIAGE TO DONALD
There have been countless rumours about Ms Trump's marriage for more than a year, since allegations emerged that the president had had multiple affairs.
Mr Trump has categorically denied the accusations, including from former adult movie star Stormy Daniels.
Ms Trump described the allegations as "gossip" and insisted she knew that her husband was telling the truth.
When asked if she loved her husband, she replied: "Yes, we are fine."
However, she conceded she had been hurt by the constant and repeated claims in the press.
"What the media is speculating, yes. It's not always pleasant, of course. But I know what is right and what is wrong - what is true and what is not."
In one interesting exchange, she was asked if Mr Trump had apologised to her since they had been in the White House.
"He has," she replied, before saying she would "leave it at that".
If she could go back and give her pre-politics self some advice, particularly in regards to how scrutinised her marriage would be, she said: "Listen to yourself."
And on media reports that she has the most control of anyone over Mr Trump, she said: "I give him my honest advice and honest opinions. And then he does what he wants to do."
Rumours that she rarely spent time at the White House, instead preferring to live alone in New York, Ms Trump said it was a hurtful misconception.
"I don't feel like a prisoner. I am enjoying it. It won't last forever … it is a very special time," she said.
When asked about the most hurtful things said about her, Ms Trump struggled to pick just one.
"It's all the things that people say, that I'm not happy in the White House; that I don't even live there; that I'm miserable in my marriage, that I'm out of touch … there are so many things, I don't even know where to start."
A SECOND TERM FOR DONALD?
The question of whether Mr Trump will seek a second term as president has been cropping up more and more.
When asked about his intentions for 2020, Ms Trump remained coy.
"I believe that my husband is doing an incredible job for this Nation … so whatever he will decide, I will support him."
In another curious comment, Ms Trump seemed to broadly talk about enemies within her husband's administration.
She said there are people in the White House that she "does not trust" and that leaders always have to "watch their back".
POLICY THAT 'BLINDSIDED' HER
The forced separation of illegal immigrants, which saw hundreds of children plucked from their parents and locked in makeshift camps at the borders, upset Ms Trump, she said.
She told her husband the policy "was not right" and she said he agreed.
"It was unacceptable for me to see children and parents separated. It was heartbreaking and I reacted with my own voice."
Ms Trump said she felt "blindsided" by the issue and was distressed about those families still separated.
"I would tell them to keep strong and that time will come. Everything needs to go through the court system and to make sure that the parents, they are reunited with the children."
Ms Trump flew to the border alone earlier this year to visit with separated families, but it was her decision to wear a coat emblazoned with the message "I really don't care, do U?" that attracted more attention.
When asked about "the coat", she admitted she was trying to send a message.
"I wonder if I would not wear that jacket, if I would have so much media coverage. It (was) "sending a message … for the people and for the left-wing media who are criticising me. And I want to show them that I don't care.
"I would prefer they focus on what I do and on my initiatives than what I wear."
ABOUT SOCIAL MEDIA
When Ms Trump announced she would be championing the issue of bullying on social media, there were many a raised eyebrow.
Her husband is notorious for his use of Twitter, which is often aggressive and attacking, if not divisive.
"I don't agree always (with) what he posts but his action is his action, and I tell him that. And I know I will be hit with criticism for talking about cyber bullying, but it will not stop me," she said.
She denied Mr Trump had tried to persuade her to choose another initiative to focus on as First Lady, given how he uses social media.
Via her Be Best campaign, Ms Trump said she wanted to teach children "social emotional behaviour" to equip them with the skills to deal with the online world.
In a much-publicised claim, she also claimed to be "the most bullied person in the world".
She went on to clarify: "One of them."
The things people said about her online constituted bullying, she said.
ON THE #METOO MOVEMENT
Countless high-profile revelations about sexual harassment and assault in the US over the past year or so have been a constant talking point.
Allegations made against Mr Trump's nominee for the Supreme Court, Brett Kavanaugh, caused an eruption of division.
"I support the women and they need to be heard," Ms Trump said. "We need to support them, and also men, not just women."
However when asked about men in the public eye accused of sexual misconduct, she said the media sometimes goes too far.
"You need to have really hard evidence, that if you accuse (someone) of something, show the evidence," she said.
"I do stand with women, but we need to show the evidence. You cannot just say to somebody, 'I was sexually assaulted,' or 'You did that to me,' 'cause sometimes the media goes too far, and the way they portray some stories, it's not correct. It's not right."
Ms Trump's own parents benefited from her US citizenship, which allowed them to gain their own - an act known as "chain migration".
The Slovenian-born former model said America needed to be tougher when it comes to who it allowed in.
"I believe in the (immigration) policies that my husband put together because I believe that we need to be very vigilant about who is coming into the country."
Mr Trump has previously pledged to end chain migration, and Ms Trump was asked about the seeming double standard, given her own benefit.
"He doesn't want to just cut it off completely, but we need to vet the people and we need to make sure that they believe in our system.
ON HOW SHE HAS CHANGED
Ms Trump was shown old photographs of herself in New York, before she married Mr Trump and long before she became First Lady.
When asked how she had changed, Ms Trump said there was "no difference".
"I'm staying true to myself."