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The US election is just under a month away and is tipped to be one the most contentious ballots in recent US history. The incumbent President Donald Trump returned to the campaign trail on Monday evening. It came less than two weeks after his positive test for coronavirus and spending three nights in hospital.
Thousands gathered at an outdoor rally in Sanford, Florida, where Mr Trump made the first of four stops in one of the country’s biggest swing states.
Democrat and Mr Trump’s main opposition figure, Joe Biden, criticised the President’s administration and campaign team’s decision to go ahead with touring as reckless, and warned voters: “I wouldn’t show up unless you have a mask and can distance.”
Mr Trump tested positive two weeks ago but has since tested negative; and many of his close team and family also tested positive for the virus, including First Lady Melania Trump.
The FLOTUS has closely followed Mr Trump during his campaign trail this year as she did ahead of the 2016 election, when she appeared in several TV interviews fighting her husband’s corner.
At the time, Mrs Trump faced backlash after images of her nude modelling days years before resurfaced in US tabloids.
In a bid to defend herself Mrs Trump used a 2016 interview with CNN to shut down her critics over the photographs.
Talking about what she viewed as unfair coverage of herself, she said: “From the beginning, I never had one correct story – one honest story published about me.
“The New York Post, two days in a row, put me on the cover with the pictures I did many years ago as a model.
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“I’m very proud I did those pictures – I’m not ashamed of my body.
“I feel very comfortable with myself and with my body.
“They were taken for a French magazine and in Europe we are proud of our bodies – no matter what size you are. It was done as art, as a celebration of the female body.”
It wasn’t the only time Mrs Trump took aim at the media.
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Secretly recorded tapes of a conversation with Stephanie Winston Wolkoff in 2018 were recently released following Ms Wolkoff’s book, Melania & Me: The Rise and Fall of My Friendship With the First Lady, appearing to show the FLOTUS as being angry with those around her.
In one tape, according to The Guardian, the FLOTUS said the media should give her “a f***ing break” over Mr Trump’s widely condemned child separations policy.
Another of the conversations heard her take on Christmas.
She said: “They say I’m complicit.
“I’m the same like him, I support him.
I don’t say enough, I don’t do enough where I am.
“I’m working … my ass off on the Christmas stuff, that you know, who gives a f**k about the Christmas stuff and decorations? But I need to do it, right?”
Much of her ire appeared to revolve around Mr Trump’s disgraced separation policy on the border.
Mrs Trump is known to have influenced the President to backtrack on his move to detain and separate families coming into the US from the Mexico border.
However, she fretted: “Ok and then I do it and I say that I’m working on Christmas and planning for Christmas and they said, ‘Oh, what about the children that were separated?’
“Give me a f***ing break.
“Were they saying anything when Obama did that? I cannot go, I was trying to get the kid reunited with the mom.
“I didn’t have a chance – (it) needs to go through the process and through the law.”
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