HOLD THAT THOUGHT: First Lady Melania Trump spoke publicly this afternoon about the importance of civility and healthy online behavior among students.
The First Lady didn’t let the first snowfall of the season deter her from making an appearance Thursday afternoon at the Family Online Safety Institute’s 2018 annual conference. The group’s chair Patricia Vance and the United States Institute of Peace’s president and chief executive officer Nancy Lindborg were ready and waiting for FLOTUS upon her arrival, according to a White House pool report.
The all-day event at the U.S. Institute of Peace was sponsored by Amazon, Facebook, Comcast, Google, Mattel and others. The organization released its latest research report, “Online Safety Across the Generations,” and panelists tackled such subjects as tech addiction, content moderation, children’s privacy, digital resilience and wellbeing. Online safety and responsibility for children has been an area of focus for Trump in recent months.
While the president is adept at tweeting his political views and countless criticisms, other world leaders do not share that view. French President Emmanuel Macron made it known earlier this week that he does not “do policy or diplomacy by tweets.”
Earlier this week the First Lady grabbed headlines for reportedly having the deputy national security adviser Mira Ricardel reassigned, a day after FLOTUS called for her resignation. She also made news after former First Lady Michelle Obama’s said in an ABC “Good Morning America” interview that Trump hadn’t reached out to her for help. FLOTUS’ team issued a statement noting that Trump is “a strong and independent woman, who has been navigating her role as First Lady in her own way…”
But Thursday afternoon FLOTUS took to the stage at the FOSI event along with the group’s chief executive officer Stephen Balkam and four students to champion responsible online behavior. Praising FOSI for inviting her “to take part in such an important discussion, and the students for sharing their positive and innovative ideas,” Trump said, “These very bright students are making real changes for our youth. I have no doubt that each of these leaders will go far in their commitments to promoting digital responsibility for generations to come.” according to the pool report.
On Monday, the First Lady will be on to more festive duties. She and the president will be stationed on the North Portico of the White House, when the North Carolina-grown Christmas arrives by horse and carriage Monday afternoon. The tree will be decorated an displayed in the Blue Room — as other winners of the National Christmas Tree Association National Tree Contest have been annually since 1966.