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Melania Trump says Kavanaugh is "highly qualified" for the Supreme Court

Melania Trump calls Kavanaugh "highly qualified"
Melania Trump calls Kavanaugh "highly qualified" 00:36

WASHINGTON -- First lady Melania Trump has offered some supportive words for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh ahead of a final Senate vote expected Saturday on his confirmation. 

"I think he's highly qualified for the Supreme Court," she told reporters traveling with her in Egypt.   

Speaking near the Great Sphinx while wrapping up a four-country Africa tour, she said she's glad that both Kavanaugh and his accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, were heard. 

Mrs. Trump was asked whether she believes Ford, who accuses Kavanaugh of sexual assault -- an allegation he denies. She did not answer but said she is "against any kind of abuse or violence."

U.S. first lady Melania Trump visits the Pyramids in Cairo
U.S. first lady Melania Trump visits the Pyramids in Cairo, Egypt, October 6, 2018. CARLO ALLEGRI/REUTERS

She also said she makes her opinions clear with her husband, President Trump.

"I don't always agree what he tweets," she said in a rare, unscripted interaction with reporters. "And I tell him that. I give him my honest opinion and honest advice. And sometimes he listens and sometimes he doesn't. But I have my own voice and my opinions and it's very important for me that I express what I feel."

As for whether she's ever told him to put his phone down, she said, "yes," with a laugh. 

Mrs. Trump arrived in Cairo on Saturday after a flight from Kenya. She met with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi and his wife, Entissar Mohameed Amer, before heading to the nearby city of Giza to see the pyramids and Sphinx to highlight U.S.-backed preservation efforts.

The U.S. Agency for International Development has been working with the Egyptian government for the past several years on a project to lower groundwater levels to prevent additional damage to the landmarks. Saline content in the water can erode their foundations.

The first lady described her tour, which took her to Ghana, Malawi, Kenya and Egypt, as "amazing" and said she hoped people would talk more about her visit and less about her fashion choices.

"That's very important what I do, what we're doing with U.S. aid and what I do with my initiatives and I wish people would focus on what I do, not what I wear," she said.

Mrs. Trump's outfit choices have drawn considerable attention.

The first lady received warm welcomes everywhere she went, though there were some reminders of her husband's strained relations with the continent, which he has yet to visit as president. 

First lady Melania Trump appears to be stepping out from President Trump's shadow on Africa trip 07:50

In Lilongwe, Malawi, her motorcade passed a sign that read "Welcome to Malawi. #NOTASHITHOLE!" - a reference to reports that the president used the vulgar term to describe African nations.

Mrs. Trump said she never heard her husband "saying those comments" and "nobody discussed that with me." 

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