US First Lady Melania Trump is planning a solo tour of Africa in October 2018. In a statement made available to the Associated Press on Monday, she said she was looking forward to learning about issues plaguing children on the continent, while learning about the diverse cultures.
No specific dates for the trip were included in the statement. However, the First Lady indicated that she would not be visiting Africa with President Donald Trump:
This will be my first time traveling to Africa, and I am excited to educate myself on the issues facing children throughout the continent, while also learning about its rich culture and history.
In January 2018, President Donald Trump faced intense criticism for disparaging remarks he allegedly made about some African countries and Haiti he termed “shithole countries.” After the new broke, representatives of the White House scrambled frantically to deny the allegations, insisting that the President had not used the exact words to describe the countries in question.
It is quite ironic that the First Lady has decided to visit Africa which as a continent is home to some of the countries her husband referred to.
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Meanwhile, Americans have not forgotten, and some are calling out both Melania Trump and the President for the planned trip. Is her journey to Africa an attempt by the Trump administration to diffuse tensions, both home and abroad?
With relations between the President and his wife being far from stellar for the past months, other commentators have suggested Melania Trump is taking time off to detox in Africa. One thing is certain: The First Lady is unlikely to escape members of the press asking her position on the allegations made against President Donald Trump.