- Melania Trump received the "2020 Woman of Distinction Award" from Palm Beach Atlantic University on Wednesday.
- In her acceptance speech, the First Lady urged "healthy online behavior," while her husband, President Donald Trump, was on Twitter, attacking Mike Bloomberg and threatening to sue "everyone all over the place."
- People flocked to social media to point out the hypocrisy.
- Not everyone in the Palm Beach community and at the university were in favor of Melania Trump being selected for the honor, prompting one local to ask, "Why would a woman of no achievements have been selected?"
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Melania Trump on Wednesday expressed the need for "healthy online behavior" while her husband President Donald Trump was on Twitter calling his Democratic presidential candidate challengers names.
While accepting the "2020 Woman of Distinction Award" from Palm Beach Atlantic University, the First Lady said, "Technology has become a daily part of our children's lives in both positive and negative ways. We live in an age where too many people allow the number of retweets or likes to define their self-worth. We live in an age where too many people allow the number of retweets or likes to define their self-worth."
She continued: "I am convinced now more than ever that teaching healthy online behavior is crucial to securing a safer future for our children."
Many predictably found her comments a bit ironic.
Critics pounced on the fact that while Melania Trump was issuing this call to action, the president was spewing vitriol at Democratic presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg and using all caps to threaten "suing everyone all over the place" over Robert Mueller's investigation, which he declared a "WITCH HUNT."
Melania and Donald Trump officially changed their residence to Palm Beach County, Florida, in late 2019. But that didn't help make the First Lady's case.
"Why would a woman of no achievements have been selected? Was it just to sell tickets?" Gail Meyer Asarch asked in a letter to the editor of The Palm Beach Post about the sold-out event, noting that locals "seldom hear from her or see her other than attending state affairs or exiting Air Force One with the president."
Asarch, whose mother Sydelle Meyer is a past recipient of the same award, wrote, "I would hope that the selection process would be non-partisan, non-polarizing, and one of merit. None of that was achieved by choosing Mrs. Trump."
Eileen Burns, co-chair of the event and a member of Mar-a-Lago, issued a statement about Melania Trump's selection, saying, "Our first lady is an exquisite human being, a magnificent wife and life partner, a superb mother and an outstanding first lady, who represents us brilliantly in the United States and worldwide. Melania is a perfect example of a Woman of Distinction and we are most proud to honor her."
Palm Beach Atlantic University's President Bill Fleming said Trump's selection was "not a political statement," adding that he "enthusiastically" backed the recommendation, deeming it "the honorable thing to do," The Palm Beach Post reported.
But many, including Graysen Boehning, a senior at the university, disagreed.
"This award has historically gone to women whose character and impact in Palm Beach have shaped the culture of our home, and I have not been convinced that the first lady's character or impact here is worthy of that recognition," Boehning told The Hill.
Some students were looking forward to hearing from the First Lady, according to Boehning, but "others felt that her character was not representative of the community of love for people of all backgrounds and beliefs that PBA houses and fosters."
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