It’s official, folks. We’re resetting the count from 24 to 0 days since First Lady Melania Trump was last seen in public. However, her first appearance since her May medical procedure didn’t stop the president from cracking a joke at what appeared to be an inappropriate time—an evening honoring families who lost loved ones at war.
Last week, an eerie tweet sounded the alarms of the Twitter police, generating suspicion around where the first lady had been since being hospitalized for a kidney operation. The hashtag #WhereIsMelania fanned the flames, with a spokesperson for Trump stating that she won’t change her behavior “over a rabid press corps.”
She “puts her family, and certainly her health above all else, and that won’t change over a rabid press corps. She’s confident in what she is doing and in her role, and knows the rest is just speculation and nonsense,” the statement read.
Spokeswoman for FLOTUS tells @ABC Mrs Trump “puts her family, and certainly her health above all else, and that won't change over a rabid press corps. She's confident in what she is doing and in her role, and knows the rest is just speculation and nonsense." https://t.co/4EhaWMfwQO— Karen Travers (@karentravers) June 4, 2018
But finally, the speculation was put to rest when Melania attended an event for Gold Star families honoring their loved ones who died at war on Monday night. The White House closed the event to press out of respect for the families, though Twitter did catch a glimpse of the first lady. Finally, proof that Melania is doing perfectly fine and is in no danger whatsoever.
Yes, there was even video footage of Trump walking into the ceremony with the president before taking her seat. Even though the press was banned, Jena Greene, a writer for right-wing blog the Daily Caller, was in attendance and recorded the footage and reported on Trump’s remarks.
First public appearance by @FLOTUS in just under a month at the Gold Star Families reception to ihht. Good to see her doing well. pic.twitter.com/p6pCB4UPbi— Jena Greene (@JenaMGreene) June 4, 2018
Melania did not speak at the event. But she did release a statement later, stating that welcoming the Gold Star families to the White House was a privilege.
.@FLOTUS Melania Trump, via the White House, after meeting with Gold Star families at a private gathering today: “To all those who have lost loved ones in service to our country, our nation grieves with you.” pic.twitter.com/izrwvm8FRr— Celeste Katz Marston (@CelesteKatzNYC) June 5, 2018
She even later posted photos of the event on her Twitter account, writing that she and her husband were “honored to pay tribute to our fallen heroes.”
Tonight @POTUS & I were honored to pay tribute to our fallen heroes. Thank you to the Gold Star families that joined us in celebration & remembrance. pic.twitter.com/6oSh1t88G7— Melania Trump (@FLOTUS) June 5, 2018
And if you squinted, you could see Trump herself, seated in the first row.
Like this tweet if you zoomed in the pics to see if she was really there.— Tony Posnanski (@tonyposnanski) June 5, 2018
But given all the media speculation and armchair criminology Twitter ran with to figure out where in the world was Melania Trump, the president couldn’t help but draw attention to the fact that she was there, in the flesh.
At the event (again, a solemn ceremony honoring family members who have died), President Donald Trump reportedly joked about Melania’s absence, mocking speculation by asking, “Where’s Melania?” and “Did she leave him?”
Trump reportedly also referenced Melania’s kidney operation by saying she “had a little problem” a couple weeks ago.
A person inside the room tells me Trump made a light-hearted joke about First Lady’s absence, saying the media was asking: “Where’s Melania?” He went on, laughing over speculation. “Did she leave him?” he asked at one point, before pointing out Mrs. Trump was in front row— Jeff Zeleny (@jeffzeleny) June 4, 2018
At least this whole “something is wrong with Melania” narrative is finally put to bed!