Melania Trump said violence can ‘never be justified’ days after the Capitol riot (Picture: FLOTUS/Twitter/AP)
The First Lady added that violence can ‘never be justified’ in a farewell message less than two weeks after Trump supporters stormed the US Capitol in a riot that left five people dead.
Mrs Trump’s intervention comes ahead of Wednesday’s inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden and with Washington on a virtual military lockdown as thousands of National Guard troops attempt to protect the city from and new President from more violence.
As the Trumps prepare to leave the White House, the First Lady released a six-minute video which paid tribute to military families, pandemic health workers and those helping victims of opioid abuse. It made only a brief reference to her husband.
She said: ‘The past four years have been unforgettable. As Donald and I conclude our time in the White House, I think of all of the people I have taken home in my heart and their incredible stories of love, patriotism and determination.
‘Be passionate in everything you do. But always remember that violence is never the answer, and will never be justified.’
She paused after making the statement, before continuing: ‘When I came to the White House, I reflected on the responsibility I have always felt as a mother to encourage, give strength and teach values of kindness.’
The Trumps’ departure from office has been messy and controversial, with the president refusing for months to accept the election result due to baseless allegations of fraud, and declining to congratulate his successor.
The outgoing president and his wife have also not invited Mr Biden and his wife Jill for the traditional tea visit in the Oval Office, and will not attend the presidential inauguration on Wednesday.
Mrs Trump, 50, urged people to chose ‘love over hatred’ and ‘peace over violence, adding: ‘The promise of this nation belongs to all of us who do not lose sight of our integrity and values, use every opportunity to show consideration for another person, and build good habits into our daily lives.’
President Donald Trump has been largely out of the public eye since his supporters rampaged through Congress on January 6, triggering his historic second impeachment a week later.
But there are now fears of more ugly scenes in the US, with the National Guard and FBI on high alert to avoid any further violence or attempts to interrupt Wednesday’s inauguration.
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