Trump tried to dissuade Melania from 'Be Best' anti-bullying campaign: report

President TrumpDonald John TrumpAverage tax refunds down double-digits, IRS data shows White House warns Maduro as Venezuela orders partial closure of border with Colombia Trump administration directs 1,000 more troops to Mexican border MORE reportedly advocated for first lady Melania TrumpMelania TrumpTrump, Harris, Ocasio-Cortez, Charlie Kirk among Twitter's most-engaged users The Hill's 12:30 Report: Sanders set to shake up 2020 race Fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld dies at 85 MORE to avoid creating an anti-bullying initiative. 

The New York Times reported on Friday that President Trump suggested the first lady choose a different topic after his wife formed a "Be Best" campaign that, in part, encourages good online behavior. 

According to the Times, Trump told his wife that she was opening herself up to questions and backlash given his tendency to bully on Twitter by leading an effort to stop online harassment. 


But Melania Trump rebuffed the president's warning and later said publicly that she was prepared to face any criticism her public service project might attract. 

The rollout of her "Be Best" campaign was met with intense scrutiny, facing allegations of plagiarism after it was discovered that a booklet published as part of the campaign copied a document first published by the Federal Trade Commission under the Obama administration.

The first lady's communications director, Stephanie Grisham, has contended that the anti-bullying initiative has been carried out as planned. 

"It is exactly what she wants it to be, and has been a success," she told the Times. "We look forward to continued success in her mission of helping children."