United States First Lady Melania Trump on Monday (January 11) finally broke her silence regarding the recent US Capitol riots that have left the entire world traumatised and less trusting of Washington's position as the centrepiece of global democracy.
In a letter posted on the White House website today, Melania condemned the incidents which unfolded, allegedly at the instigation of her husband, President Donald Trump, at the Capitol building last week.
Although she condemned the events of last week, Melania also took the opportunity to hit out at her critics, painting herself as just one of the many victims amid the unprecedented attack on democracy.
"I am disappointed and disheartened with what happened last week. I find it shameful that surrounding these tragic events there has been salacious gossip, unwarranted personal attacks, and false misleading accusations on me – from people who are looking to be relevant and have an agenda. This time is solely about healing our country and its citizens. It should not be used for personal gain," Melania wrote.
For the uninitated, Melania Trump has recently been facing a sea of critiques for finalising a photo shoot at the White House at the time when thousands of self-proclaimed Trump supporters were storming the US Capitol. Even when the widespread coverage of the violent riots were flooding the airwaves, Melania had reportedly been completing the shoot featuring "rugs and other items".
However, in her statement on this day, Melania clarified her stance on the US Capitol violence, lest there be any "mistake" about it.
"Our Nation must heal in a civil manner. Make no mistake about it, I absolutely condemn the violence that has occurred on our Nation’s Capitol. Violence is never acceptable," she wrote.
She added, "As an American, I am proud of our freedom to express our viewpoints without persecution. It is one of the paramount ideals which America is fundamentally built on. Many have made the ultimate sacrifice to protect that right. With that in mind, I would like to call on the citizens of this country to take a moment, pause, and look at things from all perspectives."
The US First Lady also expressed her condolences for the four Trump supporters who had been killed during the violent attacks, as well as for the US Capitol Police officers who had lost their lives in the line of duty.
"With nearly every experience I have had, I found myself carrying many individual’s stories home with me in my heart.
Most recently, my heart goes out to: Air Force Veteran, Ashli Babbit, Benjamin Philips, Kevin Greeson, Rosanne Boyland, and Capitol Police Officers, Brian Sicknick and Howard Liebengood. I pray for their families comfort and strength during this difficult time."
The entire statement by Melania Trump can be read here, on the White House website.
Near the end of last week, Twitter permanently suspended Melania's husband, US President Donald Trump, from the microblogging platform on Friday, citing a "risk of further incitement of violence" in the wake of the storming of the US Capitol by supporters of the outgoing president.
The crackdown on conservative platforms continued as Google and Apple took down Parler, a social media app for conservatives and far-right extremists, from their respective app store for encouraging violence in the US. Amazon, too, decided to terminate Parler's web hosting services.
The insurrectionist mob that stormed the US Capitol at the president's behest last week was overwhelmingly made up of longtime Trump supporters, including Republican Party officials, GOP political donors, far-right militants, white supremacists, and adherents of the QAnon myth that the government is secretly controlled by a cabal of Satan-worshiping paedophile cannibals.
(With agency inputs)