US First Lady Melania Trump in Egypt to tour pyramids, Sphinx

Oct 07, 2018, 09:10 IST | PTI

The US first lady spoke briefly with reporters Saturday as she was wrapping up a four-country tour of Africa with a visit to the pyramids and the Great Sphinx in Egypt

US First Lady Melania Trump in Egypt to tour pyramids, Sphinx
Melania Trump. Pic/AFP

Melania Trump says she has, at times, told the president to put his phone down. And she says she doesn't always agree with what he tweets. The US first lady spoke briefly with reporters Saturday as she was wrapping up a four-country tour of Africa with a visit to the pyramids and the Great Sphinx in Egypt. Standing in front of the Sphinx, Mrs Trump said makes her opinions clear with her husband.

"I don't always agree what he tweets," she said in a rare, unscripted interaction with reporters. "And I tell him that. I give him my honest opinion and honest advice. And sometimes he listens and sometimes he doesn't. But I have my own voice and my opinions and it's very important for me that I express what I feel." As for whether she's ever told him to put his phone down, she said, "yes," with a laugh. Mrs Trump arrived in Cairo on Saturday after a flight from Kenya.

She met with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi and his wife, Entissar Mohameed Amer, before heading to the nearby city of Giza to see the pyramids and Sphinx to highlight U.S.-backed preservation efforts.

The US Agency for International Development has been working with the Egyptian government for the past several years on a project to lower groundwater levels to prevent additional damage to the landmarks. Saline content in the water can erode their foundations. The first lady described her tour, which took her to Ghana, Malawi, Kenya and Egypt, as "amazing" and said she hoped people would talk more about her visit and less about her fashion choices.

"That's very important what I do, what we're doing with US aid and what I do with my initiatives and I wish people would focus on what I do, not what I wear," she said. Mrs Trump's outfit choices have drawn considerable attention, as when she wore a jacket that read "I REALLY DON'T CARE, DO U?" during a trip to visit migrant children who'd been separated from their families at the southern border.

The first lady received warm welcomes everywhere she went though there were some reminders of her husband's strained relations with the continent, which he has yet to visit as president. In Lilongwe, Malawi, her motorcade passed a sign that read "Welcome to Malawi. #NOTASHITHOLE!" a reference to reports that the president used the vulgar term to describe African nations. Mrs Trump said she never heard her husband "saying those comments" and "Nobody discussed that with me."

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