Melania Trump is defending her husband's campaign, particularly his outspoken rhetoric on immigration and what critics have perceived as a harsh tone directed toward women.
“I followed the law," Trump said in an interview with Mika Brzezinski aired Wednesday on MSNBC's "Morning Joe," in discussing the hoops she had to jump through in order to become a citizen of the United States. "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 let me stay here and whatever happens, happens.”
Trump, who immigrated to the United States from Slovenia in 1996, said that she and her husband are "prepared" for people to call him names for expressing his viewpoints. "I’m a full-time mom, and I love it. So, I decided not to be in the campaign so much, but I support my husband 100 percent," she said of her role in the campaign itself.
"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, leading Brzezinski to ask her what she thought about people who felt he insulted Mexicans with his comments that the country is sending rapists and murderers across the border in his announcement speech.
Trump said that she did not feel her husband insulted the Mexican people. “He said illegal immigrants. He didn’t talk about everybody. He talked about illegal immigrants," she explained. "And after a few weeks, like 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.”
Asked to respond to criticism that her husband has treated women harshly or unfairly targeted them while as a candidate, alluding to his rhetorical attacks on Fox News' Megyn Kelly and Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, Melania Trump said that her husband treats both sexes as equals in the Trump Organization.
“They’re treated equal. 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. If you’re a woman or a man, it’s no different, you’re human."