Melania Trump, on 4-nation Africa tour, gives ABC News exclusive interview

The first lady's trip stands out in the Trump White House's Africa relationship.

October 13, 2018, 3:19 AM

Melania Trump sat down with "World News Tonight" Weekend Anchor and Chief National Affairs Correspondent Tom Llamas for an ABC News exclusive interview set to air next week.

The famously private first lady has sought to find her footing in the global spotlight while escaping the media glare of the White House. She is currently on a solo four-nation tour of Africa.

She is highlighting her "Be Best" initiative and what the administration sees as the positive impact of U.S. aid on the African continent -- assistance President Donald Trump has proposed cutting by 30 percent.

Melania Trump visited with mothers and children in an African hospital, engaged with school children in Malawi and laid a wreath at the "door of no return" in Cape Coast Castle -- the last point many kidnapped Africans saw before they were crammed onto ships and sent to the Americas to become slaves.

First lady Melania Trump gives an interview to ABC News' Tom Llamas.
Tony Karumba/ABC News

In Ghana on Tuesday, she visited "Obama Hall," which was named after the 44th president, who visited the continent in 2009.

    At a primary school in Lilongwe, Malawi, Melania Trump donated school supplies and interacted with students. A student choir sang to her, "Welcome, welcome, welcome. We are happy today, we are happy to see you.”

    She also had a private meeting with Gertrude Maseko, the first lady of Malawi.

    First lady Melania Trump gives an interview to ABC News' Tom Llamas.
    ABC News

    "Thank you for having me here, and thank you for a beautiful warm welcome," Melania Trump said at the school in Malawi. "I wanted to be here to see the successful programs that the United States is providing to the children. And thank you for educating them to 'Be Best' -- be their best and to grow up into educated adults for generations to come."

    First lady Melania Trump visits Chipala Primary School in Lilongwe alongside head teacher Maureen Masi, Oct. 4, 2018 during a visit in Malawi as part of her week long trip to Africa to promote her 'Be Best' campaign.
    Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

    Donald Trump has yet to visit the continent of Africa as president. The White House has not said whether he intends to.

    He offered a positive review of his wife's trip so far.

    First lady Melania Trump holds a baby as she visits Greater Accra Regional Hospital in Accra, Ghana, Oct. 2, 2018.
    Carolyn Kaster/AP

    "She's doing a great job as first lady, I will tell you -- really great," the president said Tuesday. "And you think that's an easy job? That's not an easy job. That's a tough job. She's fantastic.”

    First lady Melania Trump and head teacher Maureen Masi watch children play with soccer balls at Chipala Primary School, in Lilongwe, Malawi, Oct. 4, 2018.
    Carolyn Kaster/AP

    Donald Trump earlier this year offered a much different opinion when asked about immigrants from Haiti or nations in Africa, to which he referred as "s---hole countries."

    First lady Melania Trump receives flowers from a young girl alongside the first lady of Malawi, Gertrude Mutharika, left, upon her arrival at Lilongwe International Airport, Oct. 4, 2018 as part of her week long trip to Africa.
    Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

    Tune in Friday, Oct. 12, at 10 p.m. EST for a one-hour prime-time special, "Being Melania -- The First Lady," on ABC.

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