First lady Melania Trump may just be the only person who can get her husband, President Donald Trump, to concede following his 2020 election loss. The sitting president has made it clear that he won’t go down without a fight, suing some states and declining to recognize Democratic challenger Joe Biden as the president-elect of the United States. Trump may not be ready to accept the results, but some of the people closest to him think it’s time to call a truce.
“Virtually everyone in his inner circle, his closest advisers, including his family members, are fully aware that this is over,” said Jonathan Karl, ABC News chief White House correspondent, on This Week with George Stephanopoulos on Nov. 8, 2020 (via OK! magazine). According to Karl, there have been private discussions that “include the first lady, about how to convince him to make something of a graceful exit.”
How does Melania feel about the election results and what role could she play in the transition? Keep reading to find out.
Melania Trump spoke out about the election results
First Lady Melania Trump took to Twitter the day after President-Elect Joe Biden and Vice-President-Elect Kamala Harris delivered a victory address to the American people. She did not follow her husband’s lead and proclaim Donald Trump the winner, and she did not repeat the sitting president’s false accusations about widespread fraud, but she did tweet this on Nov. 9, 2020: “The American people deserve fair elections. Every legal — not illegal — vote should be counted. We must protect our democracy with complete transparency.”
She did not elaborate, and she also did not congratulate Biden or Harris, but some analysts say Melania may be able to help pave a way forward. ABC News Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl claims Melania and others may be pushing for a concession to turn around her husband’s sore-loser image and reposition him as a Republican “king maker in 2022, 2024” — someone who could “maybe even run again,” per OK! magazine.
Despite rumors of a disconnect within their marriage, Donald Trump’s former campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, said Melania’s influence should not be overlooked. In author Mary Jordan’s book, The Art of Her Deal: The Untold Story of Melania Trump, Lewandowski said Melania gives Donald “good, solid, concrete advice,” and according to Lewandowski, “95 percent of the time, he took that advice. The campaign pro said Melania has “amazing political instincts.”
Melania Trump didn't aspire to be a first lady
Donald Trump may still be fighting for a second term, but it doesn’t sound like Melania Trump would be too heartbroken to leave the White House. “This isn’t something she wanted and it isn’t something [Donald] ever thought he’d win,” a friend of the Trump family told Vanity Fair in November 2017. “She didn’t want this come hell or high water. I don’t think she thought it was going to happen.”
Despite Melania’s alleged reluctance to being a first lady, she may have grown more comfortable in her role over the course of her husband’s four years in the White House. According to Anita McBride, chief of staff to former first lady Laura Bush, Melania may experience a “certain disappointment of not having this option (of being in the White House) again after working so hard towards it,” she told USA Today. “You go through the stages of a loss because it is a loss. I think [Melania] will focus on her family and her son [Barron]; helping him to manage this transition will most likely be foremost in her mind.” Barron turned 14 in March 2020.
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