Since Donald Trump announced his presidential candidacy earlier this year, his wife has kept away from the glare of the campaign.
That changed Friday night, when Barbara Walters’s interview with Melania Trump and her husband aired on 20/20. Still, don’t expect this to become a regular thing. Trump explained:
It’s my choice not to be there. I support my husband 100 percent, but we have a 9-year-old son together, Barron, and I’m raising him. And this is the age he needs a parent at home.
That kind of assertiveness reflected throughout her portion of the “Meet the Trumps” interview, from explaining what being in a relationship with someone so focused on work was like (“You have to have your own life”) to brushing off a question about the racy photos of her modeling career (“That’s part of the job I was doing. I was a very successful model”).
If her husband is elected, Trump would become the first foreign-born first lady since Louisa Adams, wife of sixth president John Quincy Adams. She said she’d pick causes that were “close to her heart.”
When it came to her husband, the interview featured several clips of Donald Trump’s blustery manner at campaign events. He answered Walters’ questions by pushing for his border wall and explaining that he would bomb the Islamic State if given the chance.
Still, much of the hour focused on a lighter side to Trump, featuring interviews with his four older children (who said that he has always pushed them to work hard), video of him with his youngest son and his grandchildren, and flashbacks to some of his previous interviews with Walters — including a bit when he asks her to pull his hair to prove it’s real.
Perhaps he’s taking some advice Melania had about the GOP debates to heart:
“She said, ‘You could tone it down a little bit on occasion,’ which I understand.”