Melania Trump: 'Heartened' to see students speaking out in wake of shooting

First lady Melania TrumpMelania TrumpTrump ambassador pick faced complaints from female workers: report Trump lashes out at 'Fake News Media' over Mueller indictments Sanders rebuffs WaPo on Trump focusing on shooting responders: 'Very misleading' MORE on Monday said she was "heartened" to see students across the country speaking out following a school shooting in Parkland, Fla., earlier this month.

"I have been heartened to see children across this country using their voices to speak out and try to create change. They're our future, and they deserve a voice," the first lady said, addressing governors' spouses at a luncheon at the White House.

"Our continued thoughts and prayers go out to all who were affected by such a senseless act. As a parent, I cannot imagine the kind of grief a tragedy like that brings," she added.

Monday's appearance marked the first time she has addressed the shooting publicly. She offered her condolences on Twitter immediately after the shooting took place.



Seventeen people were killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 14. Authorities later identified the suspected shooter as 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz. 

Melania Trump's comments also come amid new scrutiny over her marriage to President TrumpDonald John TrumpAccuser says Trump should be afraid of the truth Woman behind pro-Trump Facebook page denies being influenced by Russians Shulkin says he has White House approval to root out 'subversion' at VA MORE, who has faced more allegations of inappropriate sexual behavior and extramarital affairs in recent weeks.

Survivors of the shooting, along with students across the country, have publicly called for stricter gun control laws since the attack. 

Donald Trump Jr.Donald (Don) John TrumpTrump Jr. praises 'spirit' of poverty-stricken Indians: 'Still a smile on a face' State Dept. says it did not coordinate with Trump Jr. on India speech The Hill's 12:30 Report MORE “liked” several tweets that linked to some of the conspiracy theories that the students are not genuine survivors but rather crisis actors, prompting intense backlash.

Lauren Hogg, whose brother David has been one of the most outspoken student voices on gun control from the Florida high school, called the first lady out on Twitter last week, saying she should have spoken to Trump Jr.