Melania Trump asserted her independence in her most wide-ranging interview since her husband took office. The typically reserved first lady opened up, if only slightly, about her much-scrutinized marriage and advising the president on his policies she disagrees with.

“I'm very strong, and I know what my priorities are,” she told ABC News in an interview that aired Friday, responding to allegations that her husband was unfaithful. “I want to live meaningful life, and that's the most important to me.”

Even the choice of news outlet for her first big interview veered from her husband’s, whose inclination is to speak with Fox News, as he did at length Thursday. Her comments follow a pattern of a first lady doing things her own way, even if it contrasts with what the president has said and done and how previous first ladies have engaged with political life and the media.

While she said she likes living at the White House, she hasn't made close friends in the capital — and doesn't need any. Her friends, she said, are in New York.

"I have the same group of friends I had before. And I always prefer quality over quantity," she said.

Trump described herself as “caring, compassionate, strong, independent, very detail-oriented” in her comments taped last week on her solo trip to Africa. She stays true to herself, she said. That includes voicing her opinions to her husband when she disagrees with his policies and his social media posts.

Trump has been widely criticized for her “Be Best” initiative that focuses in part on combating cyberbullying among children and teens in light of her husband’s use of Twitter to attack his critics and opponents. She has acknowledged she’s aware of the criticism, but it won’t stop her from tackling the issue.

“I don’t agree always [with] what he posts, but his action is his action, and I tell him that. I know I will be hit with criticism to talk about cyberbullying, but it will not stop me to do what is right,” she told ABC News.

In perhaps her biggest break with her husband, Trump visited children separated from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico in June after she was “blindsided” by the separations.

“It was unacceptable for me to see children and parents separated. It was heartbreaking. And I reacted with my own voice,” she said of her decision to fly to Texas and Arizona.

Her independence also extends to her sartorial choices, as she chooses not to rely on a stylist, her spokeswoman told ABC News.

“For the most part, she chooses her own clothes,” Stephanie Grisham said.

Those choices haven't always drawn praise. While on a safari during her Africa trip, the first lady donned a white pith helmet, which some noted was a symbol of colonial rule across Africa.

But Africa was just the latest time the former model's clothing choices have been criticized for seeming tone-deafness. A jacket with “I really don’t care, do u,” emblazoned on the back that the first lady wore to visit the migrant children separated from their parents drew widespread attention.

Trump said in Friday’s interview that the jacket’s message was directed at the “left-wing media.”

“I wish people would focus on what I do, not what I wear,” Trump said.