You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Top Stories

Trump and Melania reportedly compared life in the White House to being in a Venezuelan jail

Business Insider logo Business Insider 10/6/2017 Christopher Woody
U.S. President Donald Trump waves as he walks with first lady Melania Trump on South Lawn of the White House upon their return to Washington, U.S., from Camp David, August 27, 2017. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas © Provided by Business Insider U.S. President Donald Trump waves as he walks with first lady Melania Trump on South Lawn of the White House upon their return to Washington, U.S., from Camp David, August 27, 2017. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

President Donald Trump and his wife, first lady Melania Trump met with the wife of an imprisoned Venezuelan opposition leader in February and reportedly tried to sympathize with her husband's plight by comparing life in the White House to that inside a Venezuelan prison.

Lilian Tintori, who is married to Venezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez, was at the White House to discuss human rights in Venezuela.

Many view Lopez as a political prisoner who has been jailed for nearly 14 years on trumped up charges related to a period of deadly antigovernment protests in 2014.

During the visit with Tintori, Trump seemed unfamiliar with her and her experiences, according to The Washington Post, though he reportedly knew enough to have "praised her past a reality television star in Venezuela's version of 'Survivor.'"

Trump and the first lady also reportedly tried to commiserate with Tintori through a source of their own discomfort — the White House

Melania said she sympathized with what Lopez had gone through in jail in Caracas, Venezuela, noting that the White House felt as confining as prison, two people familiar with the meeting told the Post. Trump reportedly agreed.

The first lady's spokeswoman denied she made that comment, telling the Post that Trump "only offered words of encouragement and strength."

After their meeting, Trump gathered Tintori, Vice President Mike Pence, and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio for a photo, tweeting a final version with a call to release Lopez.

Tintori was reportedly elated with the meeting and Trump's condemnations of Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro's government.

In the months since, Trump has leveled more sanctions on Venezuelan officials and businesses, imposed a travel ban on some Venezuelans and their families, and excoriated Maduro during United Nations General Assembly address.

NOW WATCH: A $1 trillion money manager says the Trump Trade is back

AdChoices
AdChoices

More from Business Insider

Business Insider
Business Insider
image beaconimage beaconimage beacon