This week saw more developments in the recent absence of former First Lady Melania Trump, which started as soon as she left the White House in 2021. Her absence was conspicuously felt when her husband traveled to Georgia after his fourth indictment to turn himself in to authorities. Because of this, she made fewer public appearances and statements, a pattern that has continued for more than two years.

    Lets have a look at her attendance this year

    January 18, 2021

    A farewell address was included in Melania’s final activities as the First Lady as she wrapped up her final engagements. She thanked her supporters in this speech, drew attention to their “Be Best” youth awareness campaign, and urged Americans to “remember, violence is never the answer,” a general appeal that had appeared just a few weeks earlier. It’s important to note that a few weeks later, her husband’s supporters violently attacked the American Capitol.

    November 6, 2021

    Melania attends a Republican Gala at Mar-A-Lago and is recognized as a guest of honor by the Log Cabin Republicans—a conservative LGBT advocacy group that Melania received $250,000 worth of speaking fees from in 2022, according to the New York Times.

    December 17, 2021

    A U.S. Coast Guard station in Florida receives an unexpected visit from Melania, who subsequently thanks the crew in an Instagram post.

    May 15, 2022

    When Melania was asked about a future return to the role of first lady, she answered “never say never” and accused the media of being “biased” during a segment on Fox News.

    July 21, 2022

    In a statement regarding the attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6, Melania said that she was not aware of the events that were taking place there that day and that, had she been aware of them, she would have condemned the violence.

    November 15, 2022

    The former first lady shows up to her husband’s official presidential campaign announcement, which is replete with untrue and incorrect statements, but she stays silent.

    December 10, 2022

    Melania visits California for two private events hosted by the Log Cabin Republicans and Fix California—a voter engagement organization that provided the ex-first lady with a $250,000 payment, according to the Times.

    April 11, 2023

    Melania Trump’s official office released a cryptic statement one week after Donald Trump was indicted and charged with 34 counts of falsifying business records over a series of alleged hush money deals. The statement implied that news organizations made assumptions about her “personal, professional, and political” stance on unnamed subjects, which is likely a reference to reports that she was upset about her husband’s indictment and public appearances.

    IMPRESSIVE FACT

    According to Maggie Haberman, a senior political journalist for the Times, towards the end of last year, Trump allegedly blamed Melania and other advisers for pressuring him to back failed senatorial candidate Mehmet Oz, a celebrity doctor, in Pennsylvania. Trump denied the post from Haberman and then apologized to his wife for the “Fake News and fictional stories” that had been carried by “the Fake News Media.”

    TANGENT

    The former president’s eldest sons, Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr., have continued to defend their father in the public eye by criticizing the four indictments and endorsing his presidential campaign. The two most visible members of Trump’s family in his government, his daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner, have decided not to support him this time around. Ivanka Trump declared late last year that she would put her children and family ahead of any further involvement in politics. Ivanka claimed she was “pained” for her father and the nation following Trump’s initial indictment.

    ESSENTIAL CONTEXT

    Melania Trump is the first First Lady who has obtained U.S. citizenship through naturalization. She was the second first lady to be born outside of the country (she was born in a town in Yugoslavia that is now a part of Slovenia). According to the New York Times, which quoted family members, the former first lady has maintained her relationships with her son, parents, and a “handful of old friends.” Melania’s limited public endorsement of her husband “should not be confused with disapproval or indifference,” the newspaper said. Melania remained hidden from view this week even after her husband was arrested and snapped on Thursday at the Fulton County Jail in Atlanta on 13 felony counts related to the Georgia election meddling case.

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