Melania Trump, spouse of the current GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump, defended her husband’s immigration policies during her most substantial sit-down with the press yet (video below).
On Feb. 24, the morning after her husband’s victory at the Nevada GOP caucus, the potential U.S. First Lady discussed the presidential race with MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”
Donald Trump has made the building of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border and mass deportations of 11 million undocumented immigrants a centerpiece of his campaign.
45-year-old Mrs. Trump was born in Slovenia but emigrated to the U.S. in 1996, according to USA Today.
Trump, when asked about her status as an immigrant:
"I followed the law. I never thought to stay here without papers. I had a visa, I traveled every few months back to the country to Slovenia to stamp the visa. I came back, I applied for the green card, I applied for the citizenship later on after many years of green card. So I went by system, I went by the law. And you should do that, you should not just say let me stay here and whatever happens, happens."
Mrs. Trump then defended her spouse’s 2015 comments that Mexico was sending over “rapists” and “murderers.”
“He said illegal immigrants,” she said. “He didn’t talk about everybody. He talked about illegal immigrants.”
When asked about her husband’s proposal to bar all Muslims from entering the U.S., Melania Trump responded that the ban is “not for all Muslims.”
This contradicts what Mr. Trump’s December 15 proposal, which was a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims from entering the U.S.”
Mrs. Trump has been reticent to speak to the press during her husband’s presidential campaign, largely staying out the spotlight. 33-year-old Ivanka Trump, the business mogul’s eldest daughter, has largely filled the role of campaign spouse.
Republican pollster Frank Luntz told The New York Times that having Mrs. Trump speak regularly to the press would be risky for the campaign.
“Politics is not her first, second, third, fifth language,” Luntz said. “It’s not her world. And if it’s not your world, you will get tripped.”