Yesterday evening, Melania attended an event at the White House honoring Gold Star families. It was the first time she has been seen in public since kidney surgery more than three weeks ago.
She made no public remarks at the event, which was closed to the press, but did release a statement afterwards.
“It was a privilege to welcome Gold Star Families to the White House today to recognize our Nation’s fallen heroes and their families. To all those who have lost loved ones in service to our country, our nation grieves with you.”
A short video shared on Twitter showed the president and the first lady entering the East Room and the president escorting Melania to her seat.
First lady Melania Trump attends White House event honoring Gold Star families in her first public appearance in more than 3 weeks after kidney procedure. https://t.co/KtcdDeFIB6 pic.twitter.com/G9FtktgQ6E
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) June 4, 2018
Melania had surgery for a benign kidney condition on May 14 and returned to the White House on May 19. She had not been seen in public since May 10, when she was with the president to welcome three American hostages released from North Korea.
Her absence from the public eye led to speculation, ranging from concern for her health to the state of the president’s marriage. Donald Trump reportedly joked about the latter rumor in his remarks at the event honoring military members who had died, CNN reporter Kate Bennett reported.
"Did she leave him?" @realDonaldTrump jokes about the rumors surrounding @FLOTUS's lengthy absence from public view. A sort of awkward bit of humor in a room full of military families who have lost loved ones.
— Kate Bennett (@KateBennett_DC) June 4, 2018
The first lady’s twitter account scolded the media for speculation about her.
I see the media is working overtime speculating where I am & what I'm doing. Rest assured, I'm here at the @WhiteHouse w my family, feeling great, & working hard on behalf of children & the American people!
— Melania Trump (@FLOTUS) May 30, 2018
The first lady did not join the president at Camp David over the weekend and will not be traveling with him to upcoming events, The Hill reports.
Stephanie Grisham, the communications director for the first lady, said Trump will not travel with the president to the Group of Seven Summit in Canada this week, or to Singapore next week for his summit with Kim Jong Un.
The White House has described her surgery as a success and President Trump has said she is “doing great”.