'Being Melania': A reporter's notebook

ABC News' Tom Llamas and John Santucci talk about the exclusive interview with first lady Melania Trump.
16:36 | 10/12/18

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Transcript for 'Being Melania': A reporter's notebook
You're watching ABC news live I'm Diane Macedo the First Lady malign a trump. Is just coming off her first solo international trip up before heading home. She Tess sat down exclusively with ABC's Tommy Amish and that interview is already making headlines the First Lady opened up. About everything from alma how much influence he has on the president what she thinks about the me to movement. Even her marriage nothing was off limits here. And we're very lucky to have Tom hammonds and senior editorial producer Johnson Tucci with us to talk a little bit fizzle behind the scenes peek. At how the slowing down and I know you both covered the trump campaign and have sought have followed the family for a long time. How was this different from what you've done previously. You know the focus of the campaign was always Donald Trump so that was sort of the northstar that we follow covering him what he said. His issues and why he wanted to be president so of course the total of of that coverage. The way we look at that the questions we formulated for just the day to day sort of chaos of the trump campaign and traveling all over the country. We're sort of like the obstacles we were up against was in this interview you know we as soon as we knew we had a we just sort of to prepare. For Austin pitch started two years ago we've we've both been working on this together as a team for about two years first for their staff and then with the First Lady personally. And in my pitched there was very simple it was I don't think America knows who you Warren you know we'd liked we'd like. To show was sighted you that maybe America has not seen yet. And she she revealed more than I thought she ever was in this interview yeah and and I want to say that it's you know she she's sitting down they're just poured her heart out. But as you mentioned she she weighed in. And gave her opinions are about the need to movement. We asked about her marriage lots of questions about her marriage and all of the very personal headlines have taken place over the last year. What it's like to be want to trump the one of the big headlines that that we've gotten so far. And and she surprised me and you consumer reaction when she said this is when she said she's the most holy person she thinks she you could say that she's one of the most bully persons. On the planet and the question was. You know why did you wanna do be best so much gray and the Genesis for because it was when she first announced that it and we were talking about this. When she first announced that it it was around the campaign and it was like why would you want to combat cyber bullying when your husband is known as the biggest cyber bully. At least the United States because he's been attacked and because he attacks people's you know intelligence their talent the witty look on Twitter. And so a new had to be something personal and it was it was that she was being bullied she perceived to be bullied online and on social media and that and that's why it started. And I just think who you know Tom I spent 500 days together and we still like introduction of our. Covering an extra campaign and and what we would often see is that Milan meal would be on the stage I'll come here want to say something. And there was very little moments that we actually heard from her yeah never really heard that and even after we got the interview we did I told titans Telecom. You know we have seeds in the White House calling a simple what did she say. I mean there's even people that you would think are in the president's inner circle that really don't have a good sense on where her headset also. During the she is very private means this is a big get so how did you guys did is it just that Tom so charming. But I doubt no I think you listen we'd be you know Tom and I. Were earning stream Leigh good team together if any when we were on the campaign. I got shipped to Washington and Tom decided not to come with me and take it personally. I'm a bit but you know we. We had very good report with the teen dead. Cover the campaign we will always honest and we were fair and our coverage as ABC's been throughout this we've been straightforward. Com and the team that he's with Maloney is actually one of the few sections of the White House that its original people. You know her communications director was the person that Tom and I were on the campaign trail with on the plane. She's the Wrangler of the press for every stop we would go to do so you build your report when people really that that's just how these work of saving New Orleans for not only with her people but with her because you know that's a really great stuff and I wanna get. To the clips from one of the big things you asked her about was the need to movement. I don't know what I want to quickly play that clip and then get your reaction to her response to you. Do you support the me too movement. I support the Lehmann and they need to be correct we need to support them. And it's you know also men to not just vehement do you think men have been in the news that had been accused of a sexual assault sexual harassment have been treated unfairly. We need to have any hard evidence Davidson you know that if you are accused of something showed evidence so more than my queue that and say. How could you see that this is true you need to stand with women 45% in demand but we need tool. We need to showed evidence. You can not to say to somebody. It was you know sexson who sold it and or you deem that to me or because sometimes didn't he get those who fire and delayed days and foot chase some stored he speaks it's not correct it's not tracked what do you make of her response there. I mean it I knew that it was gonna raise some eyebrows for people because she is I think the highest profile. Person. Mexicali and Conway I would say that has given response like that about the need to me. And that is her on his take about the need to movement and I can agree with you can disagree with it and that is for on his take. You don't want to follow questions were were were fair it's it's I'd listen to what she said nice and I said women are gonna hear this and they're gonna think he'll side with them. And she responded but it is a similar response and there's much more in our special about the me to move and including some of them the comments made by her stepson Donald Trump junior and by her husband and she reacts of those as well. I I think it's most interest thing that there are ways in wishing you see it throughout special and Tom's interview thing where there's differences between every husband wife there are stark differences between this husband and wife. But in this one I mean I think we're bowl surprise that this is one they are right on the same path and it was fascinating timing wise that you had. The president and his son Don junior coming out in that way saying they were more worried about their son's in this moment. And then to hear the First Lady is he it was a rare moment around this extensive interview that they are all toting the family line on. Yes I know you said that women need to be heard and you know on but it does seem she's also showing this kind of other side. As well. One of my favorite moments was when you talked about the level of influence that she has. Over the president there seem to be a little bit of fun there a Little Richard there does take a look. The one who has the most control over Donald Trump is melodic. 100%. Is that true how release. I keep him my honest advice and honest opinions and dad then he does but he wants to do. Sources have told us sources in the White House that you were the gatekeeper that you tell them we can trust and we can't trust so true. Can't say gave him my honest advice. He's been in office almost two years. Has he had people that you can trust workings for him. Yes did you and and I can. Don't worry do. I was some people they don't where there anymore. So. On the one hand it's and the he doesn't always do which she tells him to but on the other. It just so much she has some influence and if I wanna say the White House I am not crossing the First Lady. Now to and that's exactly exactly how we got to that question as one of our our most plugged in. Producers you know we talk a lot of people in prepared for this interview and questions that that they thought could be. Curtain it. Or questions they thought could could get a response out of the First Lady. And this intrigue me because they said the the quote they use that she's the gatekeeper whom she tells them who to trust and not to trust and some those people aren't there anymore. And it turned out to be 100% truth and we ask her she she she essentially admitted that I. It's also the fact that someone actually still remain I mean if it that's not firing a shot across the line and even the president came out reacting to Tom's interview today saying they he had there's still some people I wanna weed out. I mean each as we often talk about the chaos that has engulfed in this west wing. But for that to happen in that moment any new it was quite surprising to me that the First Lady is no. Basically any you know there is a target she has on certain people there are still allegedly serving her president. And it sounds like she is also trying to give at least her best advice to the president in terms of who he should. Keep close and who he should. They became close because there an enemy and not necessarily a friend if you and I think goals you have to remember this is a president that is common I know from just being around him he's always asking people what do you think about this what about this what about that he is very much soliciting advice dearest certain people that their opinions rise higher than others whose children for sure. But as Tom said we've heard continuously. Maloney has a great deal of influence free deal impact and I think we also saw that Iran talk about it but it on the matter immigration. I mean that was a moment that you clearly saw the First Lady has. Power over husbands. She also talked about bullying with you and I know that's been her big cause and you tried to delve a little deeper into that lets take a look at what she had to say. What is it about. Social media because I remember you talking about the street a campaign. What happened to you personally or what did you see virtually that you thought you were to tackle this issue if I could say I'm the most. Booty person on. On the world you think you're the most bleak personal I don't want to Dutton. If you do you see what people are saying about to me you're an adult you say you're strong have you thought about what with this due to a child. To my son to other children. That's why I eat. You know might be investing Lucy Davies focusing on social media an online behavior. We need to too educated to your agenda. Social emotion and behavior so that the mandate grow up. And they know how to dvd does he she was. That's very important. Also legal POWs. We have a -- crisis he United States. So tell me seem to have opened up something that you are saying that she survey revealed that she. Feels very bullied and so that was an important cause to her did she divulge any more asked what she does to try to get herself out of those situations other than maybe staying off Twitter. What she claims to as you heard should that she's not on Twitter anymore right. I will tell you though anytime there is a negative had a line her office usually does respond and they respond forcefully. She says they don't respond everything this is just too much negativity out there right but they do respond to life in that way she she is like her husband she doesn't let things just fly in. So it does bother her it does get to her and that's why she wanted to attack this and that's what she wanted to. Tip to get on social media and and and tried it. Try to do something. For a good cause when it comes to that it's just it's really tough because of her husband and all things he doesn't social media and so a lot of people that it's hard for them to take her seriously. And I think it's a big issue is tough for anybody to take something like that on but what do you think she's trying to accomplish overall with this will be best initiative. Well I mean listen I think that they've been this initiative from the leash describes it has multiple pillars so we know. Dad from the president's trips during the campaign to New Hampshire. He was struck and and one moments think Tommy armour but this will what was the president in New Hampshire a town hall. Com and a father of a son who's the son passed away from an oh Peoria overdose. Bomb that struck him and that is that's part of the initiative to I think you'll often gets no clouded over by just being about cyber bullying but it is more than that. Com I I think date she. Again that we see if there's moments that there are in line he agreed they have the same feelings on things and this is one where she feels different and her husband Tom push back on that. Senior how can you see this with the fact that what your husband does most times is tweeting that people attacking them. Com and the reality is for her if she feels strongly about it she does and thinks it's right. I'm she is extremely protective as we've learned more reporting. Over their young son he is just entering his teenage years I think she's seen that firsthand those however role mom. Of course and she does say I'm a wife and the moms that comes through several times during this interview. And it seems that this is one of those areas where she has said you know my husband is always do and I tell him to do it but it sounds it she's kind of forging her own pass on this topic. And speaking up her husband once in the First Lady deathly does not often talk about is her marriage and yet time to your credit. You win fair and she did seem to open up a little bit let's take a look at what she said. You did agree to this interview to your credit with no preconditions. Knowing that there could be some some tough questions asked. And it has been a tough year for you personally. You're not the first First Lady to have to deal with her husband's alleged infidelities has mystery on your marriage think he's not concerned. And focus a mind I'm on my benefit CD and have much more important things still think about them to do. I know people life could to speculate and media left to speculate about it. Our man rates have you been hurt though. Media were decent respect for leading. Yeah it's it's not always pleasant of course. But sit. I know what he's dragged in what he's gong can look east to not. True the only time you have commented publicly your office was when Rudy Giuliani. Came out and said your thoughts about stormy Daniels claims that's it she believes in her husband she knows it's not true. Is that an accurate statement. I never talk to Macedonia and what do you think he came out said I don't know you need to asking. You mentioned you you still have a good marriage do you love your husband yes we have fine yes. It's so let me PS factly and it's cost him the seats are not always. Oh correct. Yeah I mean for us it was. Kidd experienced. What a moment. Thirty moment alone at any yeah we learn a lot and it was it was it was uncomfortable was an easy to ask those questions and I think we did and respectful manner. But I think we learn a lot about her and and what's going on in her mind and and how she came to terms with a lot of what's happening because it has been a tough year for her and as I said I just it's a you don't attests a lot of people with tests a lot of marriages. It's an inning went I think she talks about you know just. The constant scrutiny the constant headlines and I mean on on those stories alone I mean there was a period that it felt like every single moment. There was a headline with what was going moment stormy Daniels that it was relentless I mean in any marriage it would be difficult and how how would you possibly go wall and when that's every second and for them and they are constantly under the microscope mean she says she stopped looking at it but. You know I think the fact that you soar her office respond. To the Rudy Giuliani you know comment right. And then to hear her say dad I mean you know Tom was there in the chair but I'm behind the camera Michael how. I mean I never thought we would have gotten her to go there but. She did. She seems like someone who despite being rather quiet and reserved also does not want people putting words in her mouth and men is very clear that she's not gonna let that. Happens he I think hurt her team always describes her as soon she pays attention to everything she's very. I don't think on that one you know lending could Tom is all synergy of limits of certain points. She saw on that stick for Murti and just said he didn't know. That's not gonna pass. Smile no this is all just scratching the surface though we so appreciate you guys sitting down with us giving us a little glimpse of what we can expect. But remember you can watch the ABC news exclusive. Content that was what the First Lady the one hour special called being the Lonnie up. The First Lady that is airing tonight. At 10 o'clock 9 central. Right here on ABC you don't want to miss it thank you guys so much thank you thank you Diane.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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