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First lady Melania Trump breaks her silence on Capitol riot, then hits back at her critics

January 11, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 69%. 2 min read.

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 23: First lady Melania Trump attends a meeting of the President's Task Force on Protecting Native American Children in the Indian Health System in the State Dining Room of the White House on July 23, 2020 in Washington, DC. The Task Force is charged with investigating breakdowns that failed to prevent a predatory pediatrician from sexually assaulting children while working as a doctor in the Indian Health Service. The pediatrician left the agency in 2016 and is now in Federal prison. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

First lady Melania Trump has broken her silence on the Capitol insurrection incited by her husband in a letter posted on the White House website early Monday morning in which she lashes out at her critics and then condemns the violence.

(CNN)First lady Melania Trump has broken her silence on the Capitol insurrection incited by her husband in a letter posted on the White House website early Monday morning in which she lashes out at her critics and then condemns the violence.

"I am disappointed and disheartened with what happened last week," the first lady, whose "Be Best" platform centers on civility and kindness, said in the post.

The post marks Trump's first public statement since her husband incited mobs of supporters to storm the US Capitol.

During the attack, she was overseeing a photo shoot at the White House featuring "rugs and other items," per a person familiar.

Trump then condemned the events of last week: "Make no mistake about it, I absolutely condemn the violence that has occurred on our Nation's Capitol.

The first lady expressed condolences to the four Trump supporters killed during the attacks before going on to recognize the US Capitol Police officers who died in the line of duty.

While images of the mob breaking into the Capitol consumed the airwaves, the first lady was focused -- with the White House chief usher, Timothy Harleth -- on getting the shoot completed.

Both the media, including CNN, and members of her staff were asking if Trump had plans to tweet a statement of calm, or a call to stop the violence -- something she had done a handful of times months earlier during the protests surrounding the police killing of George Floyd.

Her disinterest in addressing the country was indicative of being "checked out," said another White House source, who added, "she just isn't in a place mentally or emotionally anymore where she wants to get involved. "

Later Wednesday evening, two of the first lady's top aides, chief of staff Stephanie Grisham -- who also served as Trump's closest adviser, speechwriter and spokesperson -- and Anna Cristina "Rickie" Niceta, White House social secretary, submitted their resignations effective immediately.

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