First lady Melania Trump condemned last week’s violence at the U.S. Capitol and called for “healing, grace, understanding, and peace for our great Nation.”
In a statement released through the White House, she paid tribute to those who died and gave her view of the events in Washington, D.C. on January 6: “I am disappointed and disheartened with what happened last week.”
The first lady also dismissed “salacious gossip” about her following the riot.
“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,” Trump said.
“This time is solely about healing our country and its citizens. It should not be used for personal gain.”
On the path forward, she said: “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 went on to describe people’s passion over participating in the election “inspiring,” though said such passion should not cross over into violence.
“It is inspiring to see that so many have found a passion and enthusiasm in participating in an election, but we must not allow that passion to turn to violence,” she said. “Our path forward is to come together, find our commonalities, and be the kind and strong people that I know we are.”
In a sign-off remarking on her time a first lady coming to a close, Trump added: “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 four years and shown the incredible impact of the American spirit. I am grateful to you all for letting me serve you on platforms which are dear to me.”
The first lady’s comments come with a sustained backlash against her husband and his allies following the scenes in Washington, D.C.
Lawmakers continue to push for his removal from office, with calls for his impeachment or the 25th Amendment to be invoked to oust him from power.
The president has branded the attack on the Capitol “heinous,” adding in a statement: “Like all Americans, I am outraged by the violence, lawlessness and mayhem.”
He said those involved “defiled the seat of American democracy,” and added: “To those who engaged in the acts of violence and destruction, you do not represent our country. And to those who broke the law, you will pay.”