Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin has lashed out at Melania Trump over her taped comments regarding the separation of children from their parents at the southern border.
The attack came on Friday after Ms Trump expressed gratitude for well wishes she has received since the announcement of her positive coronavirus diagnosis on Friday.
“Thank you for the love you are sending our way. I have mild symptoms but overall feeling good. I am looking forward to a speedy recovery,” Ms Trump posted on Twitter.
Ms Rubin, who describes herself as a “never Trump, pro democracy opinion writer", responded with a scathing comment: “You may not give a f*** about children but decent people care about one another.”
The columnist recently dropped the label “conservative” from her Twitter bio in response to the Republican Party becoming “thoroughly infused with racism and intellectually corrupted by right-wing nationalism."
The remark follows the broadcast of leaked tapes in which Ms Trump complained about being criticised over her husband's policy of separating children from their parents at the southern US border.
In a recording played by CNN’s Anderson Cooper, the First Lady can be heard saying: “Give me a f***ing break." The recordings were allegedly made without Ms Trump’s knowledge.
The tapes were taken by Ms Trump’s former friend and close aide Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, who has published a book about their relationship.
The First Lady’s team has since hit back at the leaked tapes. "Secretly taping the First Lady and wilfully breaking an NDA to publish a salacious book is a clear attempt at relevance," Ms Trump's chief of staff Stephanie Grisham told CNN in a statement.
"The timing of this continues to be suspect - as does this never-ending exercise in self-pity and narcissism."
During the conversation, Ms Trump and Ms Wolkoff had apparently been discussing the backlash from the controversial policy to separate families at the border, initially complaining that she had to decorate the White House for Christmas.
“I’m working like a – my ass off at Christmas stuff that you know, who gives a f*** about Christmas stuff and decoration? But I need to do it, right? Correct?”, Ms Trump can be heard saying in the recording.
"OK, and then I do it. And I say that I’m working on Christmas planning for the Christmas. And they said, ‘Ooh what about the children, that they were separated?’ Give me a f***ing break."
“Where they were saying anything when Obama did that?”, Ms Trump then says.
“I was trying to get the kid reunited with the Mom. I didn’t have a chance. Needs to go through the process and through the law.”
Sounding close to tears, the first lady adds: "They would not do the story. They would not do the story. You would not believe it. They would not do the story because they are against us because they’re liberal media.
“Yeah, if I go to Fox they will do the story. I don’t want to go to Fox."
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