Melania Trump “has no intention of using her position for profit”, her lawyer has said, after a court document suggested the First Lady expected to develop “multi-million dollar business relationships” in her new role.
The controversy centres around a lawsuit filed on behalf of Mrs Trump in New York state court against Mail Media, the Daily Mail’s owner, over a now-retracted report that falsely claimed she once worked as an escort.
The $150m (£120m) lawsuit claims the article had cost her millions of dollars in potential business.
Mrs Trump had a “unique, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity” to launch numerous product lines, including jewellery, apparel, shoes and cosmetics at a time when she is “one of the most photographed women in the world,” according to the new lawsuit.
The document does not specifically mention her role as First Lady, but speaks of developing “multi-million dollar business relationships”.
The passage drew attention, with ethics experts and US media questioning whether she wanted to use her presence in the White House for profit.
But Charles Harder, Mrs Trump’s lawyer, said the First Lady “has no intention of using her position for profit and will not do so”.
“It is not a possibility,” Mr Harder said.
“Any statements to the contrary are being misinterpreted.”
This week Mrs Trump, a former model who married President Donald Trump in 2005, also settled a defamation lawsuit for a “substantial sum” against a Maryland blogger who wrote about the false claims she had worked as an escort.
Mrs Trump has kept a low profile since her husband’s inauguration on 20 January.
She is living in New York while her son Barron finishes the school year.
Mrs Trump joined the President last weekend at their home in Florida but has not returned to Washington since the inauguration.