STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Melania Trump is greeted in Ghana, visits baby clinic

Melania Trump stepped off Executive One, the government plane assigned for her travel, Tuesday and...

Posted: Oct 3, 2018 11:52 AM
Updated: Oct 3, 2018 11:52 AM

Melania Trump stepped off Executive One, the government plane assigned for her travel, Tuesday and arrived in Ghana on her first major solo journey as first lady.

The schedule for Trump's trip has her spending about a week abroad, zig-zagging the continent to Ghana, Malawi, Kenya and Egypt.

Africa

Barron Trump

Celebrities

Continents and regions

Donald Trump

Government and public administration

Government bodies and offices

Melania Trump

Misc people

North America

Political Figures - US

The Americas

United States

US federal government

White House

Ghana

Western Africa

Greeted on a tarmac red carpet by Ghana's first lady, Rebecca Akufo-Addo, Trump was presented with a bouquet of flowers wrapped in colorful kente cloth and treated to drum and dancing performances. She spent Tuesday morning visiting Ridge Hospital, where she greeted mothers and babies and passed out teddy bears and blankets.

She looked on nervously as a baby was weighed from a scale in a weighing bag, later picking up another baby, cooing to him and making faces and kissing him.

Trump and Akufo-Addo had tea behind closed doors at Jubilee Palace. She presented her hostess with a Chippendale tray etched with an image of the White House, and received a kente cloth and traditional Ghanian artifact in return.

She visited the United States Embassy later in the day, retiring to her hotel late Tuesday afternoon.

While Trump's staff is keeping tight-lipped about specific details for security purposes, the first lady is expected to make stops at local schools and hospitals visiting with children and taking in regional cultural experiences.

In a speech in New York City last week, Trump said she would also be promoting her "Be Best" platform of helping kids in a broad spectrum of categories, ranging from wellness to cyberbullying.

"When I launched 'Be Best,' it was with the goal of combating some of the issues that children face today by shining a spotlight on successful programs and organizations that teach children the tools and skills needed for emotional, social and physical well-being," Trump said. "Since the launch, I have had the opportunity to meet children all over the world, with the goal of talking to them about the importance of healthy living and responsible habits."

Agenda

In Ghana and Malawi, Trump said in her remarks that she will focus on health care and education, joining on the trip with USAID to see which programs are working to support each country. Similarly, in Kenya, early education and disease prevention and care are on her agenda, as is conservation. In Egypt, Trump will likely visit that country's most popular tourism site, the Great Pyramids.

"I know that through USAID, we have worked with the people of Egypt to promote an environment in which all groups of society -- including women and religious minorities -- can lead productive and healthy lives," Trump said, again noting USAID, whose chief administrator Mark Green will be part of the first lady's delegation.

Stephanie Grisham, Trump's communications director, told CNN the trip is primarily a diplomatic and humanitarian visit.

"I think she feels it is important that people around the world understand the United States cares about the prosperity and future generations of other countries," said Grisham.

Why Africa?

"Mrs. Trump has always envisioned her first international trip would be Africa. So, we've 'known' that we would be doing this since the very beginning," Grisham said.

Last September, Trump made a day trip to Toronto to watch the Invictus Games, a sporting event for military veterans.

Planning for the Africa trip began back in February of this year, with details and logistics worked out over the summer. Barron Trump, who is 12, is not joining the first lady on the Africa trip.

While it has always been the case that first ladies of the modern era embark on goodwill tours around the world, the timing for this trip has, like most things with Trump, been on her own terms. She has waited more than a year-and-a-half into her tenure to embark on a significant solo journey.

All of her trips overseas thus far have been accompanying her husband, to Asia last year and, most recently, to Europe this summer, stopping in Belgium, England, and Finland.

For context, Michelle Obama took her first solo trip outside of the United States in April of 2010, going to Mexico; her second solo trip was to Africa, in June 2011. Laura Bush took several solo trips during her eight years as first lady, visiting dozens of countries. Her first major solo journey abroad took her to Europe in May 2002.

Global role

"It's very important that a first lady be a global presence," says Kate Andersen Brower, a CNN contributor and the author of "First Women: The Grace and Power of America's Modern First Ladies."

"While her role is mostly symbolic, most modern first ladies have proven they can make real change and have a genuine impact on the policies they choose to champion," Brower said. "I think this upcoming trip to Africa sends a strong message that the US is engaged in the region and helps combat the statements reportedly made by her husband about the continent."

In January, CNN reported President Donald Trump, speaking behind closed doors about illegal immigration, decried "shithole countries," with an implication toward Africa.

Trump has shown herself to be an independent first lady, whose office and staff and agenda, have little to do with those of the President and his West Wing team. She remains a stoic and relatively quiet first lady, weathering without comment a barrage of challenging headlines this year as a result of various personal scandals allegedly involving the President.

The President has not spoken or posted on social about her trip since his wife departed, but he told reporters at the UN last week: "I love Africa."

Her visits to children's hospitals and schools, as well as her two trips in June to the United States and Mexico border, are oftentimes overshadowed by the news cycle vacuum created by her husband and a political cycle that has dominated the national conversation.

Additionally, in May, Trump underwent a significant kidney procedure that kept her out of the public eye for three weeks.

This trip will be a chance for the first lady to make a global impression on the world stage, without the President by her side.

"She speaks five languages, she was not born in the US, and she is generally viewed as more compassionate than her husband, so this is an important moment for her to show a more empathetic side of her husband's administration," said Brower. "It's important that people see her Africa trip in the best possible light, not as pandering or trying to deflect attention away from the scandal in the White House but as a genuine effort to help showcase accomplishments made there and the work that still needs to be done."

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 24850

Reported Deaths: 1050
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin8393613
Ramsey3019124
Stearns202113
Nobles15395
Anoka139970
Dakota132755
Washington63632
Olmsted62610
Kandiyohi4961
Rice4622
Scott4262
Clay42328
Mower3182
Todd3160
Wright3131
Sherburne2432
Carver2102
Benton1773
Steele1580
Blue Earth1400
Martin1305
St. Louis11814
Freeborn1170
Pine890
Unassigned8910
Nicollet8710
Winona7915
Cottonwood750
Watonwan740
Carlton730
Crow Wing712
Otter Tail680
Goodhue663
Chisago611
Polk612
Lyon560
Itasca5410
Dodge520
Chippewa511
Morrison460
Meeker450
Le Sueur441
Douglas420
Becker400
Jackson390
Murray390
McLeod370
Isanti350
Waseca260
Rock220
Mille Lacs191
Pennington190
Faribault180
Swift180
Wabasha180
Fillmore171
Brown162
Sibley160
Beltrami150
Cass142
Norman130
Marshall120
Pipestone120
Kanabec111
Wilkin113
Wadena100
Pope90
Aitkin80
Koochiching80
Mahnomen61
Yellow Medicine60
Lincoln50
Redwood50
Big Stone50
Renville50
Red Lake40
Grant40
Lac qui Parle30
Clearwater30
Traverse30
Houston20
Hubbard20
Roseau20
Lake10
Kittson10
Stevens10

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 19521

Reported Deaths: 535
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk4227126
Woodbury275034
Black Hawk174644
Linn95577
Dallas90421
Marshall89416
Buena Vista7830
Johnson6149
Wapello59310
Muscatine55741
Crawford5162
Tama40327
Scott35910
Dubuque34418
Louisa34411
Sioux2750
Pottawattamie2638
Jasper26016
Washington1898
Wright1690
Plymouth1322
Warren1320
Allamakee1214
Story1151
Mahaska9410
Poweshiek908
Henry711
Bremer706
Des Moines631
Boone620
Clinton611
Taylor560
Clarke550
Guthrie503
Cedar471
Benton431
Webster401
Monroe385
Shelby370
Hamilton370
Jones360
Clayton353
Buchanan330
Iowa330
Osceola330
Marion320
Cerro Gordo291
Madison282
Cherokee280
Lee270
Fayette270
Jefferson270
Lyon240
Monona240
Winneshiek240
Harrison230
Davis220
Dickinson210
Grundy200
Mills190
Floyd191
Sac190
Humboldt180
Hardin170
Lucas170
Clay160
Butler161
Hancock160
Delaware150
Emmet150
Keokuk150
Appanoose153
Ida140
Franklin130
Page130
Greene130
Howard120
Cass120
Audubon121
Pocahontas120
Jackson120
Winnebago110
Carroll100
Chickasaw100
Kossuth90
Adair90
Van Buren90
Union80
Adams70
Montgomery70
Palo Alto60
Fremont40
Mitchell40
Ringgold40
Worth30
Calhoun20
Wayne10
Decatur10
Unassigned10
Rochester
Overcast
64° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 64°
Mason City
Broken Clouds
61° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 61°
Albert Lea
Overcast
57° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 57°
Austin
Overcast
63° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 63°
Charles City
Overcast
61° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 61°
Powerful storms and summer-like conditions are coming our way
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

${item.thumbnail.title}

StormTeam 3: Tuesday's Severe Weather Outlook

Image

Minnesota churches open doors to more congregants

Image

George Floyd protests continue in Austin on Sunday

Image

Sean Weather 5/31 2

Image

Rochester restaurant prepares to open patio to public

Image

Sean Weather 5/31

Image

Rochester People's Rally

Image

Religious leaders call for justice for George Floyd

Image

Rochester downtown under curfew Saturday night

Image

Sean Weather 5/30

Community Events