While the attack was taking place, the first lady was in the White House overseeing a photoshoot of rugs and other decorative items.
"Disappointed and disheartened" over the events that took place on January 6, first lady Melania Trump has broken her silence on the Capitol siege days after the incident took place. In the same statement, she also thanked Americans for giving her the honor of serving as the first lady.
On the day of the attack, when thousands of pro-Trump supporters sieged the Capitol building, damaged property, and battered a police officer to death whilst having a standoff with the cops, the first lady Melania Trump was reportedly in the middle of a photoshoot at the White House.
CNN reports FLOTUS was overseeing a photo shoot at the White House as mob descended on Capitol, and her silence was why some of her top aides resigned. https://t.co/7wEGzKkcG8— Josh Dawsey (@jdawsey1) January 11, 2021
"Photos were being taken of rugs and other items in the Executive Residence and the East Wing," a person familiar with the first lady's activities that day told CNN.
While she was overseeing the photoshoot for her coffee table book on decorative objects that she has collected and restored during her time at the White House, domestic terrorists forced their way through the US Capitol not far away from where she was. As news of the incident started pouring in, the first lady was reportedly still focused on completing the photoshoot.
In the wake of a tragedy, it is customary for the American people to hear words of comfort from the first couple. However, the first lady remained quiet after the Capitol attack and she "checked out" as she wasn't "in a place mentally or emotionally anymore where she wants to get involved," a White House source said. So she carried on with the photoshoot and did not release a statement immediately after the riot.
On January 11, the first lady finally broke her silence and released a statement addressing the assault on the US Capitol, where she mentioned those who lost their lives in the incident. "...My heart goes out to: Air Force Veteran, Ashli Babbitt, Benjamin Philips, Kevin Greeson, Roseanne Boyland, and Capitol Police Officers, Brian Sicknick and Howard Liebengood. I pray for their families comfort and strength during this difficult time."
Following the Capitol riot, her husband was accused of inciting the insurrection while she, being the first lady, was called an accomplice, which prompted her to say, "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."
"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," Melania added.
Calling for unity, the first lady also said, "I implore people to stop the violence, never make assumptions based on the color of a person’s skin or use differing political ideologies as a basis for aggression and viciousness. We must listen to one another, focus on what unites us, and rise above what divides us.
Taking a moment to express her gratitude to the people of the country, Melania also said in her statement, "It has been the honor of my lifetime to serve as your First Lady. I want to thank the millions of Americans who supported my husband and me over the past 4 years and shown the incredible impact of the American spirit."
Donald Trump has announced a state of emergency in the US ahead of Joe Biden's inauguration on January 20.