A rare Melania Trump sighting occurred Friday, but it was bittersweet nonetheless. First Lady Trump rode on Air Force One for the first during a meet and greet with Japan’s Prime Minister. Melania’s first state visit comes on the heels of a backlash behind rumors Mrs. Trump is gracing the cover of a future Vogue magazine.
Melania Trump, 46, was seen greeting Donald Trump on the tarmac at Joint Base Andrews in Prince George’s County, Maryland. Reportedly, the couple has been apart since last weekend.
Where's Melania Trump? Japanese prime minister's wife tours Washington, D.C., solo. https://t.co/aOVqc9lmW1
— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) February 11, 2017
At the airstrip, Melania and Donald boarded Air Force One with Minister Shinzo Abe and his wife, Ake, for a trip to Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida where they will spend the weekend, as Newsmax reported.
Earlier, when the dignitaries arrived at the White House, Melania was noticeably absent, according to USA Today. Apparently, Melania Trump “broke tradition” for a first lady. Sources say when Mrs. Trump reportedly arrived in Washington from New York, she didn’t take part in showing the guests around.
Multiple sources report that Mrs. Abe was unaccompanied by the new first lady when she visited Gallaudet University and then again when she was seen having lunch with planners of the National Cherry Blossom Festival.
“Traditionally, it’s the role of the first lady to accompany spouses of visiting foreign leaders around Washington. That often means a good deal of showcasing local museums, schools, monuments and gardens. It’s essentially playing tour guide, but it’s part of the role of representing the Administration and playing gracious hostess to every VIP out of town guests.”
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) February 10, 2017
Ostensibly, it’s a “sign” that Melania may not represent the Office of the FLOTUS like her predecessors. Many saw it coming when Mrs. Trump was largely absent from the campaign trail until the very end.
Melania Trump is in the news daily, as many have taken to “FLOTUS Watch” on account of her non-traditional approach to her duties as the wife of the commander-in-chief. Melania has not officially moved into the White House yet as reports suggested early on that she may delay the transition.
Melania decided to remain in New York’s Trump Tower until the end of her son’s school year. Ten-year-old Barron attends a prestigious private school in NYC and Melania is focused on him first, and her duties as first lady second.
The Trumps’ guests have grown accustomed to VIP treatment when visiting their country’s post-World War II ally. According to his official website, the prime minister began his political career in 1982 as the executive assistant to the minister for foreign affairs. Over the years, Abe held various positions in government.
In 2006, he became the 57th PM and the country’s youngest. He resigned a short time later for health reasons but launched a comeback in 2012 to successfully become the 63rd PM of Japan.
In 2015, First Lady Michelle Obama took Abe’s wife to a school in Virginia. There, elementary students cheered them on as if they were rock stars. Later, the women enjoyed a state dinner together with their spouses.
Without Melania Trump to host her at The WH, the Japanese Prime Minister's wife, Akie Abe was disrespected. Cultural traditions do matter. pic.twitter.com/qKhPBkYlFD
— No Mandate (@DisabilityPower) February 10, 2017
In 2007, Laura and George W. Bush hosted the Abes at the White House. The first ladies toured Mount Vernon and appeared happy in the other’s company.
— Yashar (@yashar) February 10, 2017
When Melania eventually met up with her husband and guests Friday, she didn’t disappoint; she was dressed to the nines.
Melania, a fashion-icon-in-the-making, donned dark sunglasses with a dark coat fashionably thrown over her shoulders. She paired the chic look with a pair of white wide-legged palazzo slacks.
Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner, for their trip to the president’s lavish resort aka “White House II,” joined the two heads of state and their wives on Air Force One. The president and Melania joined the press in the rear of the aircraft for a few moments and fielded questions.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's wife Akie Abe, left, and Melania Trump wave from the presidential limo … https://t.co/iZkUPbwo0z
— Mike M (@icare4america16) February 11, 2017
Melania Trump’s first time aboard Air Force One is overshadowed by a growing backlash over rumors she is gracing the cover of Vogue. According to a previous Inquisitr report, Mrs. Trump may be featured in an upcoming issue of the popular magazine. A recent statement from the publication’s editor-in-chief, Anna Wintour, hinted at the possibility.
— The Daily Beast (@thedailybeast) February 9, 2017
While Wintour didn’t confirm the prevailing rumor, she left open the possibility that Melania may grace an upcoming cover.
“We have a tradition of always covering whoever is the first lady at Vogue and I can’t imagine that this time would be any different.”
Wintour is a longtime Democrat who supported Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton during their respective campaigns for president. In Vogue‘s over-100-year history, it has never endorsed a candidate for the White House. Clinton was the first.
A backlash ensued on social media as many in the anti-Trump camp decried the move to have Melania Trump on the cover. The fallout is perceivably largely due to the president’s “divisive” rhetoric and policies, based on tweet data.
[Featured Image by Joe Raedle/Getty Images]