Melania Trump is leaving the White House at the most unpopular point of her tenure as first lady

Chris Riotta
·2-min read
 (REUTERS)
(REUTERS)

Melania Trump will depart from the White House this week at the most unpopular point of her tenure as the nation’s first lady, according to a new CNN poll, following the deadly mob attacks on the US Capitol in support of her husband.

Ms Trump has a 42 per cent favourability rating nationwide, the lowest rating she received since the poll began in 2016, while her unfavourability rating has continued to climb to 47 per cent.

The first lady recently received criticism for her response to the violent attacks on the Capitol, in which she decried “salacious gossip” she claimed to have endured as the country was still in shock following the deadly riots.

“I find it shameful that surrounding these tragic events there has been salacious gossip, unwarranted personal attacks, and false misleading accusations on me,” the statement read in part, “from people who are looking to be relevant and have an agenda.”

Watch: Will Melania Trump break tradition? What to know about the White House tea-and-tour

The statement was slammed as “tone deaf” by her critics, who said she appeared more focused on a feud with her ex-friend and aide, Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, than on the state of the country.

Ms Wolkoff published a rare rebuke of the first lady from a former loyal adviser in an Op-Ed for the Daily Beast that called the riots at the Capitol “shocking, awful, disheartening and shameful.”

Some critics also questioned why there were typos in the initial White House release of Ms Trump’s statement, as well as the decision to name United States Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, who died as a result of his injuries sustained by the mob, alongside those who died while breaching the building.

As CNN reported, Ms Trump enjoyed her highest favourability ratings back in 2018 when she attended the funeral of former first lady Barbara Bush without her husband.

Ms Trump was photographed alongside former presidents and other first ladies, drawing stark comparisons to President Donald Trump, who did not attend the funeral.

But she has also faced similar disapproval throughout her tenure, especially when she visited Africa in December of 2018.

Her favourability ratings reportedly plunged by double digits during the solo trip, in which she was criticised for wearing a colonial-style pith helmet.

Mr Trump is also leaving the White House at the lowest approval of his tenure, according to CNN, with just 34 percent of support as a majority of Americans (54 percent) say he should be removed from office before Inauguration Day.

Watch: First Lady Melania Trump releases farewell message