Melania Trump has not been seen in public since May 10, as The Express reported on Sunday, a span of more than three weeks. The saga of the missing first lady appears set to extend at least another week and possibly even into a fifth week after an announcement by her spokesperson, Stephanie Grisham, on Sunday afternoon.
The last time the 48-year-old wife of Donald Trump was seen in public came on May 10, when she appeared with her husband at Andrews Air Force Base in the early morning hours, greeting three Americans who had were returning to the United States after being held captive in North Korea. Her prolonged absence has drawn not only a flood of conspiracy theories, but comparisons to what might have happened had any previous first lady pulled a similar disappearing act, as author Jessica Valenti wrote in The Guardian on Sunday.
“I find it hard to believe that if Michelle Obama disappeared from the public eye for nearly a month that there wouldn’t be some sort of sustained public inquiry,” Valenti wrote in her Sunday column. “But the reasons behind her lack of public appearances are less interesting to me than the fact that we’re so used to bizarre and out-of-bounds behavior from this administration that something like a missing first lady barely makes the grade for news coverage.”
After Melania Trump failed to accompany her husband on his trip to the Camp David presidential retreat over the weekend, Grisham said on Sunday that the first lady would now skip next week’s G7 summit meeting in Charlevoix, Quebec, Canada, according to a report by ABC News correspondent Meredith McGraw. And that wasn’t all. Grisham also told McGraw that Melania Trump will skip Donald Trump’s trip to Singapore the following week, when he will meet with the leader of North Korea, Kim Jong Un.
As has been the case throughout Melania Trump’s 23-day disappearance, Grisham gave no reasons for the first lady’s absence from the two important foreign trips. At last years’s G7 summit in Italy, Melania Trump not only traveled at her husband’s side, she made headlines by showing up wearing a designer Dolce & Gabbana overcoat with a reported retail price of $51,500, according to a Washington Post report.
On Wednesday of last week, as the Inquisitr reported, a reporter for cable network CNBC posted a Twitter message claiming that he personally saw the first lady in the White House the previous day. But the claim was met with widespread skepticism and no independent confirmation or corroboration of the reporter’s claim appears to have surfaced.
Among the more shocking unconfirmed rumors about Melania Trump’s lengthy absence from public view and, apparently, from her official duties, comedian Tom Arnold has claimed to be in possession of a video recording showing Donald Trump physically assaulting his wife in an elevator, according to Movieweb.
While Arnold’s claim appears outlandish and has received no confirmation, in at least one other incident, a reporter has claimed to have knowledge of a sitting president assaulting his wife. According to a new memoir by Pultizer Prize-winning reporter Seymour Hersh, quoted by The New Republic magazine, “in 1974…Hersh heard that (President Richard) Nixon’s wife Pat was in hospital after being punched by her husband.”
But Hersh did not report the story. “All I could say,” Hersh writes in his book, Reporter: A Memoir, “is that at the time I did not — in my ignorance — view the incident as a crime.”
Melania Trump was hospitalized on May 14 — four days after he most recent public appearance — for what was reported to be a routine kidney procedure, which normally sees a patient released on the same day, according to a CNN report.
But she remained in the hospital until May 19, with Grisham telling CNN that she was “in high spirits.” But the first lady has yet to reappear in public or attend any official events — and is now expected to miss two of the most significant events on her husband’s calendar this year.