Despite a recent claim by Donald Trump that his wife Melania could be seen in a White House window, the first lady has not been seen in public since May 10, when she accompanied her husband at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland as three Americans held captive in Korea returned to the United States.
Sometime soon after that public appearance, the 48-year-old reportedly entered a hospital for what was described as a minor kidney procedure. Though she reportedly returned to the White House a few days later, Melania Trump has not made a public appearance since then, and no official explanation has been given for her vanishing act, almost three weeks after the Andrews Air Force Base sighting.
But a new development noticed by a sharp-eyed Twitter personality has set off a new sound of speculation that Melania has actually left Washington, D.C., altogether and moved back to New York City, where she had lived since 1996 prior to relocating to the nation's capital last year.
The Slovenia native's preference for New York City has been no secret. Following her husband's inauguration on January 20, 2017, Melania and her then 11-year-old son with Trump, Barron, waited nearly five months before making the move from their Trump Tower apartment to the White House.
As spotted by the popular anti-Trump Twitter commentator "Tea Pain," Melania Trump recently switched the location status on her personal Twitter account to "New York City."The official first lady of the United States Twitter account remained unchanged, however. Exactly when she made the location change to her personal account is not clear.
During Melania Trump's stay at Trump Tower in the period between January 20 and June 10 of last year, she still received the same Secret Service security protection as any first lady — protection that reportedly cost taxpayers about $146,000 per day — a cost that would presumably now need to go back into effect if the rumor proves accurate and she actually has moved out of the White House and back to Trump Tower — or even to some other location in New York.
On Sunday, the same day that "Tea Pain" noted that Melania Trump now lists her location as New York City on her Twitter page, another Twitter personality known for his anti-Trump commentary, Pesach "Pace" Lattin, wrote on his Twitter feed that the first lady had indeed relocated to New York "for the foreseeable future."But the rumor from Lattin's alleged source has not received any independent confirmation.
According to Donald Trump's financial disclosure forms filed last week, Melania Trump's sole source of personal income is the licensing of photographs of herself through the agency Getty Images. The disclosure indicated that Melania may have earned as much as $1 million last year from rights fees from licenses to those photos.
Earlier this month, shortly before her mysterious disappearance from public view, a separate rumor circulated in Washington, D.C., circles, claiming that Melania was not living at the White House with her husband, but instead was residing with her parents and her son in a separate residence at another location in the city. But White House spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders denied that rumor as "1,000 percent false."
Melania Trump's predecessor as first lady, Michelle Obama, made frequent public appearances, and according to a survey of historians and academics conducted by Siena College, ranks as the fifth-most popular first lady in U.S. history.