U.S.

Melania Trump Is Not a Failure and Neither Is Her State Dinner, Spokeswoman Says

First lady Melania Trump “has not failed” in planning the Trump administration’s first state dinner to be held Tuesday, her spokeswoman insisted amid criticism around the event including its uncharacteristically small guest list that includes no Democratic Congress members.

Related: Who is Brigitte Macron? How France’s ‘First Lady’ Has Compared to Melania Trump

Instead of engaging an event planner, Trump took charge of putting together the dinner welcoming French President Emmanuel Macron and executed her vision with the help of 10 East Wing staffers and four White House Visitors Office aides, The New York Times reported Monday. The first lady’s choices included using Clinton White House china to serve the main course, and decorating with cherry blossoms like the Obamas once did.

Trump reportedly told her staff not to stress about the details and block out scrutiny. “We’re probably not going to get the credit we deserve, but I know this team is great and she knows this team is great,” the first lady’s spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham told the Times. “We have not failed, and she has not failed.”

The White House in a statement Monday said the first lady carefully selected the dinner elements “to complement and pay homage to the long-standing friendship between the United States and France."

White House social secretary Rickie Niceta, who played the biggest role in organizing the state dinner after Trump, defended the first lady's hosting skills. “She is very organized and she is very exact in how she wants something,” Niceta said. “There is no wavering.”

President Donald Trump excluded Democrats and members of the media from attending the dinner with Macron in a departure from White House tradition. Senator John Kennedy (R-La.) said Tuesday the first family made the wrong call in limiting the guest list.

“I think it would have sent a better message, just my opinion, if we included a cross-section of Congress. You can’t include everybody, but that’s Democrats, independents and Republicans,” Kennedy said on CNN’s “New Day.”

The state dinner is “much more than just a dinner” and all eyes will be on the president's wife, Kate Andersen Brower, author of First Women: The Grace and Power of America's Modern First Ladies, told NPR. "I think it's a lot of pressure," Brower said. “Melania I mean, God, everyone's going to be watching to see her expression and what she's wearing. We just know nothing about her. She's such a cipher."