US First Lady Melania Trump has launched a child wellbeing public awareness campaign but has been swiftly rebuked for apparently plagiarising the work of her predecessor.
The ‘Be Best’ campaign aims to teach children the importance of social, emotional and physical health, according to a White House statement on Monday.
“The three main pillars of ‘Be Best’ will include wellbeing, social media use, and opioid abuse,” Melania Trump, who initially pledged to fight online bullying in the final days of the 2016 presidential election, said at the campaign launch in the White House Rose Garden.
NBC’s Michael Cappetta tweeted that the title of the initiative echoed Michelle Obama’s advice to men at the United States of Women summit in 2016, when she encouraged them to “be better” in the fight for women’s empowerment.
“Plaigarize [sic] Better,” retired congressman John Dingell wrote on Twitter.
The Democrat’s post linked to a tweet which showed the First Lady’s booklet for her new campaign reused a page from a booklet the Obamas published in 2014 called Talking to Your Kids.
Prior to the initiative’s launch, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders dodged repeated questions on whether it was appropriate for the first lady to be advocating against cyberbullying given her husband’s history of insulting people online.
“The idea that you are trying to blame cyberbullying on the president is ridiculous,” Sanders told reporters Monday.
Donald Trump embraced Trump embraced his wife after she finished her speech and kissed her cheeks five times in a rare public display of affection before holding hands as they walked back into the Oval Office.
“America is truly blessed to have a first lady who is so devoted to our country and to our children,” Trump said before signing a declaration that Monday was “Be Best” day.