CAIRO — No one can say Melania Trump, the first lady, doesn’t understand the power of an image.
Standing in front of one of the best known but most enigmatic monuments of the ancient world, the Great Sphinx, Mrs. Trump — one of the most mysterious First Ladies in modern times — agreed to take questions from a group of journalists.
Mrs. Trump — wearing another white hat — used the symbolic backdrop as a moment to discuss her six day trip to Africa, including whether any of her hosts had brought up the disparaging comments her husband has reportedly made about African countries.
“Nobody discussed that with me,” she said of her hosts in Ghana, Kenya, Malawi and Egypt this week. Of the president, she added: “I never heard him saying those comments.”
When asked about Mr. Trump’s claim, made in response to the accusations of sexual assault against Brett Kavanaugh, that it was a “very scary time” for men, Mrs. Trump walked a line between saying victims needed to be heard and supporting Mr. Kavanaugh, whom she called highly qualified to join the Supreme Court.
“I’m glad Dr. Ford was heard,” Mrs. Trump said of one of the accusers. “I’m glad Judge Kavanaugh was heard, that the F.B.I. investigation was done.”
She added: “We need to help all of the victims no matter what kind of abuse they had. I am against any kind of abuse or violence.”
When asked if she believed Dr. Ford, she seemed to deflect the question: “I will move on that.”
Of the president’s Twitter habits, “I don’t always agree what he tweets and I tell him that,” she said. “I give him my honest opinion and honest advice. Sometimes he listens, sometimes he doesn’t. I have my own voice and my opinions and it’s very important to me that I express how I feel.”
When asked if she ever took his phone away, Mrs. Trump quickly replied, “Yes!”
Mrs. Trump appeared irritated when asked about the white pith helmet, a symbol of British colonial rule, that she had worn in Kenya.
“I wish people would focus on what I do, not what I wear,” she said. Mrs. Trump made her “Be Best” initiative a focus of the trip.
She then posed for photographs in front the pyramids, tipping her hat down against the wind as dancers whirled and dramatic music played in the background.