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Melania Trump’s Anti-Bullying Speech at the UN Prompts Cries of Irony

September 21, 2017, 10:46 AM UTC

First Lady Melania Trump condemned bullying in her first speech at the United Nations on Wednesday. At a luncheon attended by other first ladies such as Canada’s Sophie Gregoire-Trudeau and France’s Brigitte Macron, Trump called on world leaders to “come together for the good of our children because through them, our future will be defined.”

“No child should ever feel hungry, stalked, frightened, terrorized, bullied, isolated or afraid, with nowhere to turn,” she said. “We need to step up, come together, and ensure that our children’s future is bright.”

The speech immediately raised eyebrows since President Donald Trump has repeatedly reverted to mockery and name-calling in tweets aimed at his critics. Last week, he retweeted an edited video that seemed to show him smacking rival Hillary Clinton in the back with a sailing golf ball. During his presidential campaign, again and again, he used derogatory nicknames against his opponents.

When the first lady initially announced her intent to campaign against bullying last year, she drew the same sort of criticism since the effort seemed so at odds with her husband’s approach to politics.

Melania Trump’s spokesperson told The Washington Post that the first lady “will not avoid doing what she knows is right, because others think it is a bad idea” when asked if Trump’s message was incompatible with the president’s behavior.

In her speech Wednesday—her highest-profile since her husband took office—the first lady urged her audience to teach the next generations to “lead and honor the golden rule.” Today’s leaders have a “moral imperative” to ensure children learn such lessons, she said.