Melania Trump condemns Capitol riot but hits out at 'personal attacks'

250820 melania trump AP
First Lady of the United States Melania Trump Credit: AP

Melania Trump has condemned the US Capitol riots which left five people dead, but hit out at people who targeted "salacious gossip" towards her in the aftermath.

Last week her husband Donald Trump condemned the violence by his supporters, but he has been accused of encouraging them while the protest was going on.

In a lengthy statement released on the White House website, the first lady said she was "disappointed and disheartened" with the events but went on to attack "salacious gossip, unwarranted personal attacks, and false misleading accusations on me".

It is the first time since Ms Trump has spoken out since Wednesday's chaos, in the wake of which her chief of staff resigned.

Donald Trump has condemned the violence by his supporters. Credit: AP

Mr Trump's behaviour during the riot has sparked calls for him to be impeached a second time despite the fact he has less than two weeks of his term remaining.

The president is set to face charges of inciting violence and sedition by the Democrat-controlled Congress, although it is unlikely he will be removed from office before the end of his term.

The first lady offered her condolences to the four Trump supporters and two police officers who have died as a result of the violence at the US Capitol.

Ms Trump went on to call for peace and healing, urging people "to stop the violence, never make assumptions based on the colour of a person’s skin or use differing political ideologies as a basis for aggression and viciousness. 

"We must listen to one another, focus on what unites us, and rise above what divides us."

She added it was "inspiring" to see how many people enthusiastically engaged with the election but urged people to "not allow that passion to turn to violence".

She also accepted her time as first lady was coming to an end, saying it had been the "honour" of her life to serve in the role for the past four years.

Ms Trump finished her statement calling for "healing, grace, understanding, and peace for our great Nation".

President-Elect Joe Biden is due to be inaugurated on January 20, with Mr Trump finally accepting he would be leaving office after Congress confirmed his opponent won.

Despite his promise of ensuring a peaceful transition, Mr Trump has still said he disagrees with the vote and will not be attending the inauguration ceremony.

The president was recently permanently banned from Twitter because of the "the risk of further incitement of violence”.