Melania Trump, wife of real estate mogul Donald Trump, defended her husband’s immigration policy proposals and harsh language in an interview that aired on MSNBC Wednesday. She emphasized that her experience as an immigrant helps her understand her husband’s positions.
“I followed the law,” Melania Trump said to Mika Brzezinski on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” in response to a question about whether her husband had gone too far with his immigration policies. “I never thought to stay here without papers. I had a visa, I traveled every few months back to the country to Slovenia to stamp the visa. I came back; I applied for the green card. I applied for the citizenship later on after many years of green card. So I went by system, I went by the law. And you should do that; you should not just say, ‘OK, let me stay here and whatever happens, happens.’”
Trump immigrated to the United States from Slovenia in 1996 and became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 2006. She said she and her husband are “prepared” for all the people angrily disagreeing with him, but she has tried to keep life as normal as possible for their son.
“We have thick skin, and we know that people will judge him and people will call names. They don’t give him enough credit. From June that he announced, they don’t give him enough credit,” she said.
When asked about the controversy over her husband’s comments in his announcement speech, saying that undocumented Mexican immigrants were rapists and murderers, she said she felt her husband did nothing wrong.
“I don’t feel he insulted the Mexicans. He said illegal immigrants. He didn’t talk about everybody. He talked about illegal immigrants,” Trump explained. “And after a few weeks, like after two weeks [of] giving him a hard time and bashing him in the media, they turned around. They said, ‘You know what, he’s right. He’s right what he’s talking about.’ And he opened conversation that nobody did.”
As for the Republican front-runner’s relationship with women, his wife also said he is fine on that front. The candidate has fought with Fox News’ Megyn Kelly and made comments that many saw as sexist about Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton as well as former GOP candidate Carly Fiorina.
“They’re treated equal,” she said of women in the Trump organization. “I see him in life; he treats women the same as men. He will tell you what is in his heart, what he thinks. He will not hold it back if you’re a woman, you’re human,” she said. “If you’re a woman or a man, it’s no different, you’re human.”
Trump said she does sometimes disagree with her husband, and that she keeps up with the news and often consults with him when he’s on the road.
“Well, do I agree all the time with him? No, I don’t. And I tell him that. I tell him my opinions. I tell him what I think," she said. “Sometimes he listens; sometimes he don’t.”
On the topic of their relationship more broadly, Trump explained that they have a good relationship and let each other be independent.
“We are own people. I’m my own person, he’s his own person, and I think that’s very important,” she said. “I don't want to change him, he doesn’t want to change me.”