First lady Melania Trump defended her Be Best initiative to fight cyberbullying in a town hall last week in a message that also seemed to channel her husband President Donald Trump’s combative approach to social media.
“Sometimes, you need to fight back. I’m sorry,” she told students at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, drawing cheers from the audience.
The first lady received widespread criticism after the White House announced her cyberbullying initiative in May because the president, who has been dubbed by critics as the “cyberbully-in-chief,” has frequently used his Twitter account to mock women’s appearances and attack his political foes’ intelligence.
First lady Melania Trump says she knew that when she started her "Be Best" campaign she "will be criticized, but I will do what is right" so the "next generation can be respectful and kind, and also sometimes you need to fight back, I'm sorry" https://t.co/AfEIFrfeM5 pic.twitter.com/cbAC5sXSBu
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) November 28, 2018
“I know when I started with Be Best and with social media initiative that I will be criticized but I will do what is right for the next generation,” she told the students.
“That’s very important for me, so [the] next generation can be respectful and kind,” she said.
The HuffPost notes:
The first lady’s message to “fight back” appeared at odds with the internet safety guide Be Best published in May. In a section titled “What to do about a cyberbully,” parents are encouraged to “keep a cool head” if their child is targeted.
“Remind your child that most people realize bullying is wrong,” the guide says. “Tell your child not to respond in kind.”