Melania Trump has issued a warning over the destructive power of social media on the same day her husband used Twitter to attack John Brennan as “the worst CIA director in our country’s history” and a political “hack”.
The US first lady was speaking at a federal conference on cyberbullying in Maryland.
Opening the Federal Partners on Bullying Prevention summit, Melania Trump said: “Let’s face it: Most children are more aware of the benefits and pitfalls of social media than some adults.”
“In today’s global society, social media is an inevitable part of our children’s daily lives," she said. "It can be used in many positive ways, but can also be destructive and harmful when used incorrectly.”
Her comments come as the US president continued to fire salvos against his perceived enemies on Twitter, writing that Robert Mueller, the man leading the investigation into Russian interference in the election, was “disgraced and discredited”.
Melania Trump did not directly mention the president and his aggressive use of Twitter to berate his foes and call them names.
Pressing forward with her effort to combat youth cyberbullying, the first lady said adults must do “all we can” to provide children with information and tools for safe online habits.
She told the audience at the summit in Rockville how impressed she was by a group of students who participated in Microsoft’s council for digital good. Melania Trump said she was “inspired by their sincere commitment to reducing peer-to-peer bullying through kindness and open communication”.
“By listening to children’s ideas and concerns, I believe adults will be better able to help them navigate this often-difficult topic.”
“Let’s face it: Most children are more aware of the benefits and pitfalls of social media than some adults, but we still need to do all we can to provide them with information and tools for successful and safe online habits.”
The first lady’s appearance came as part of her campaign to help children “be best”, which also includes an emphasis on overall wellbeing and opioid addition.
Her comments come after she praised NBA star Le Bron James in a statement after her husband insulted him.
In June, Melania Trump’s spokeswoman said the first lady “hates to see children separated from their families”, in what at first appeared to be a rare public statement at odds with her husband’s policy of separating children from their parents at the Mexico border. Stephanie Grisham said the first lady believed “we need to be a country that follows all laws”, but also one “that governs with heart”.