As the mystery continues to grow over who wrote the now infamous New York Times op-ed about President Donald Trump's chaotic White House, First Lady Melania Trump offered her own thoughts on the editorial Thursday afternoon.
CNN's Kate Bennett asked Mrs. Trump for her reaction to the anonymously-penned op-ed, which White House aides have blamed for putting the president in a "volcanic" mood.
I asked @FLOTUS about the oped, here is her answer to @CNN: https://t.co/MGYPijt7Vw— Kate Bennett (@Kate Bennett) 1536251143.0
"Freedom of speech is an important pillar of our nation's founding principles and a free press is important to our democracy," Mrs. Trump told CNN in a statement Thursday. "The press should be fair, unbiased and responsible."
The First Lady blasted the Times for publishing an editorial piece of such magnitude without citing the author.
"Unidentified sources have become the majority of the voices people hear about in today's news. People with no names are writing our nation's history," the First Lady said. "Words are important, and accusations can lead to severe consequences."
The president has long derided anonymous and confidential sources as "fake news," despite his own history of disguising his own identity when speaking to the press. Mrs. Trump, in her response, appeared to parrot her husband's frustrations.
"If a person is bold enough to accuse people of negative actions," Mrs. Trump added, "they have a responsibility to publicly stand by their words and people have the right to be able to defend themselves."
The First Lady's statement concluded with a message to the editorial's author, whoever he or she may be.
To the writer of the op-ed -- you are not protecting this country, you are sabotaging it with your cowardly actions.
Mrs. Trump didn't deny what the op-ed was saying, however.
Twitter dragged the First Lady for invoking anonymous sources when peddling her husband's birther conspiracy about President Barack Obama's birth certificate.
@KateBennett_DC @FLOTUS @CNN Melania the birther perpetuator, sure. As soon as she settles up her source of confid… https://t.co/XUxBPlbWzH— Cucurbita pepo (@Cucurbita pepo) 1536251788.0
@FLOTUS Your statement concerning the oped was read by Angela Mitchell. Let me ask you: who was your source when yo… https://t.co/XTDEm0Os80— gloria blount (@gloria blount) 1536251789.0
@KateBennett_DC @FLOTUS @CNN Did you ask her about this person using anonymous sources to sabotage our last @potus… https://t.co/3emlWENSgw— RRTCL (@RRTCL) 1536253616.0
Why isn't the First Lady holding the president to this standard, considering his own pattern of using pseudonyms, such as John Barron or David Dennison?
@KateBennett_DC @FLOTUS @CNN Here you go. https://t.co/Ji7No8sNrG— Patti Coppersmith (@Patti Coppersmith) 1536254915.0
@KateBennett_DC @Acosta @FLOTUS @CNN Dear Melania Trump, Donald Trump was his own anonymous source for all of his a… https://t.co/le0x63Wcf7— Dawn Young-McDaniel ♿️ (@Dawn Young-McDaniel ♿️) 1536251641.0
Doubts over who really wrote Mrs. Trump's statement flooded Twitter.
Perhaps it was Stephanie Graham, Mrs. Trump's spokeswoman who was fired earlier this year.
@KateBennett_DC @FLOTUS @CNN Now that we know what @StephGrisham45 thinks of the oped, can we hear Melania's thoughts on the matter?— Tony (@Tony) 1536252684.0
@KateBennett_DC @FLOTUS @CNN She didn't write that. 😂— jess fedigan (@jess fedigan) 1536251394.0
@KateBennett_DC @FLOTUS @CNN No way this was “her” response. Could we have just one day where the White House doesn… https://t.co/B3oslwrknD— Doug Higgins (@Doug Higgins) 1536251853.0
Maybe it was written by "another anonymous source."
@KateBennett_DC @Acosta @FLOTUS @CNN This was written by.......... another anonymous source— Billy j Emerick (@Billy j Emerick) 1536251598.0
@KateBennett_DC @Acosta @FLOTUS @CNN Melania used the words “pillar” and “sabotaging”? Whoever wrote this should step out in to the light.— Cyn-ical (@Cyn-ical) 1536251859.0
@KateBennett_DC @FLOTUS @CNN Glad I'm not alone in thinking these are not Flotus' words. From her office, sure but not directly from her.— Beck (@Beck) 1536251505.0
Others joked that it was Michelle Obama who wrote the statement.
I'd say Melania, but Michelle Obama never wrote a New York Times OpEd condemning Trump, so... #OpEdGUESS— Amelia M. Christnot (@Amelia M. Christnot) 1536191493.0
@KateBennett_DC @lachlan @FLOTUS @CNN -Michelle Obama, 2008— Itchy Kitchy (@Itchy Kitchy) 1536251257.0
Many people, however, are simply exasperated.
Overall RESPONSE ## #NewYorkTimesOpEd to Melania Trump’s remarks on the NYTimes OpEd— “I DON’T REALLY CARE, DO U?— Loretta Mossman (@Loretta Mossman) 1536254781.0
@KateBennett_DC @FLOTUS @CNN We really don’t care! Do you?! #bebest— SprinitOnEm (@SprinitOnEm) 1536251614.0
@KateBennett_DC @Acosta @FLOTUS @CNN I really don’t care, do you?— Ali (@Ali) 1536251541.0
@KateBennett_DC @FLOTUS @CNN So she is saying #BeBest?— Softy38 (@Softy38) 1536252663.0
Anonymous sources are an essential tool for the free press and are relied upon for holding truth to power.