Melania Trump, the relatively low-profile spouse of Republican front-runner Donald Trump, explained in a new interview why she's chosen to stay mostly off the campaign trail.
"I'm choosing not to go political in public because that is my husband's job," she told Harper's Bazaar, adding that she is "very political in private life and between me and my husband I know everything that is going on."
But in terms of getting out on the trail, she "chose not to be on the campaign … I have my own mind. I am my own person, and I think my husband likes that about me."
A large part of her own life is the couple's son, Barron. "I don't have a nanny," she explains. "I have a chef, and I have my assistant, and that's it. I do it myself. You know, those hours with your child are really important ones, even if it's just the two of you, being quiet in the car together."
Despite being off the trail, the former model is supportive of her husband's plans for America, explaining that her husband is "not politically correct" and honest about the fact that "everything is not roses and flowers and perfect." However, when asked about what kind of "big trouble" America is now in, she deflected, saying "I don't want to go into it. I just believe he has what it takes to be an amazing president."
One contentious issue that has become a cornerstone of both her husband's campaign and the race as a whole is immigration. Trump, who is from Slovenia, explained that she came here through legal means and became a citizen in 2006.
"I followed the rules. I came here for my career, and I did so well, I moved here," she said. "It never crossed my mind to stay here without papers. That is just the person you are. You follow the rules. You follow the law."
In Trump's eyes, her husband's leadership skills and negotiating savvy are what the country needs to get back on track. "He is a great leader — the best leader, an amazing negotiator. America needs that, and he believes in America." That is a sentiment she has expressed in her rare appearances on the trail. Taking a few moments at the microphone at a rally in South Carolina before Thanksgiving, she excited the crowd with just a few words. "Isn't he the best? He will be the best president ever. We love you."
That love may not extend to the media, however. Donald Trump is constantly critical of a press corps that he calls "dishonest" and "scum." And while his wife's words are not quite as strong, it's clear she shares his mistrust of the media when it comes to how she sees herself portrayed. Pushing back on the descriptor of her as shy, she said, "I'm not shy. They interview people about me who don't even know me. These people, they want to have 15 minutes of fame in talking about me, and reporters don't get the facts … you can see how they turn stories and how unfair they can be."
And while Trump may not attend all of her husband's rallies — though she has been at all Republican debates, so far — she is often a presence in his stump speeches. Frequently invoked by her husband, who relays her reviews of his rallies and proposals to eager crowds across the country, the GOP candidate paints a picture of a his wife's role. "She's my pollster," he said in December in Cedar Rapids. "She's got a great heart and she's really smart," he told crowds in Beaumont, Texas.
But if we take her at her own word, Melania Trump's role is one out of the campaign spotlight — at least for now.