Melania imagined being First Lady while still dating Trump 20 years ago in 1999 interview

Archive footage from a nearly 20-year-old interview with ABC News revealed Melania Trump's thoughts on being in the White House sometime in the future


                            Melania imagined being First Lady while still dating Trump 20 years ago in 1999 interview

First Lady Melania Trump had spoken at length with ABC News years before her husband secured the highest office in America. At the time, she was a supermodel dating real estate mogul Donald Trump, who would later become the president of the United States. During the interview, the outlet asked her what she thought about being in the White House someday. Melania said that, if she ever became the First Lady, she "would be very traditional, like Jackie Kennedy and Betty Ford."

Following a photo shoot in New York City for a North Shore Animal League America campaign on December 3, 1999, the Slovenian supermodel, who was 26 at the time and was named Melania Knauss, sat down with ABC News correspondent Don Dahler and discussed her life. Melania had met the real estate tycoon the year before during a party at the New York Fashion Week.

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump gestures to his wife Melania after she delivered a speech on the first day of the Republican National Convention on July 18, 2016, at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump gestures to his wife Melania after she delivered a speech on the first day of the Republican National Convention on July 18, 2016, at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Dahler asked her if she could picture herself as the first lady in the near future, to which the former Vogue cover girl answered "yes", and went on to say she would support her boyfriend through thick and thin and emulate the former first ladies of the United States if she had the chance.

Melania said she would like to work with the Make-A-Wish Foundation for charitable causes if she ever became the First Lady, and "would be very traditional, like Jackie Kennedy and Betty Ford."

Dahler then asked her if she was dating Trump simply for his money, to which Melania responded rather charmingly, saying one can't "talk with" or "hug" material things. Speaking of her naysayers in the mainstream media, she said, "They don't know me," and asserted that Donald Trump was "very kind, very charming" and agreed that she was "in love" with him.

Bringing Trump's "history with acrimonious divorces" to the fore, Dahler then asked her if she would sign a prenuptial agreement. In her response, Melania said she wouldn't rule it out.

 Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump sits with his wife Melania Trump while appearing at an NBC Town Hall at the Today Show on April 21, 2016, in New York City. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
 Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump sits with his wife Melania Trump while appearing at an NBC Town Hall at the Today Show on April 21, 2016, in New York City. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Melania had already developed a distrust for the media at the time, as was evident during the 1999 interview. When asked about her desire to wed her then-boyfriend, Melania was reluctant to respond as she had been "misquoted" in the past. Melania politely declined to comment when Dahler asked if she would say yes if Donald proposed to her for marriage.

"Media can be very tricky sometimes," she said. "You need to be very careful." She continued, "I like to have my private life, too. Yes, but I'm always open. I'm not shy of the media. I'm not shy about the camera. That's my business. That's my modeling career. But it sometimes could be very tricky and unpleasant, unfair." The host then asked her if Trump referring to himself as "a playboy" bothered her, to which she said she doesn't mind it. "It's a man thing, and sometimes I find it very cute," she said.

Republican president-elect Donald Trump embraces his wife Melania Trump during his election night event at the New York Hilton Midtown in the early morning hours of November 9, 2016, in New York City. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Republican president-elect Donald Trump embraces his wife Melania Trump during his election night event at the New York Hilton Midtown in the early morning hours of November 9, 2016, in New York City. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

However, Dahler was persistent with her tabloid questions, asking her if she felt insulted when Trump said things like, "Where's my supermodel?" Melania responded with grace and elan, saying, "It's his sense of humor. He's very kind." She said her boyfriend would be a "great president" and believed at the time that he would eventually run for the office. "He's very smart," she said. "He knows how to do a business. He would be a great leader."

While growing up in Slovenia, Melania said she thought of the United States as a "dream" land. "Your dreams could come true," she said. "You could do a lot of things, wherever you decide to do." The pair tied the knot in January 2005 at Mar-a-Lago, President Trump's beachfront estate in Palm Beach, Florida, ABC News reports.