Rumors about the first lady's whereabouts have been swirling around for days, and she's clearly fed up with all the wondering. On Wednesday, Melania Trump tweeted that she's at the White House and "feeling great," while taking an apparent shot at the media for "working overtime speculating" about where she's been.
To be precise, it's been 20 days since the last time the first lady was seen in public, and what's going on with her has become a subject of some scrutiny and curiosity. According to People magazine, the first lady's tweet insisting she was "with her family," and "working hard on behalf of children and the American people," was sent at the same time the president was on the south lawn of the White House, for an event recognizing youth athletes.
The first lady was reportedly released from the hospital on May 19, and returned to the White House afterwards. Her office put out a statement thanking supporters and well-wishers for their concerns.
"She is resting comfortably and remains in high spirits. Our office has received thousands of calls and emails wishing Mrs. Trump well, and we thank everyone who has taken the time to reach out," the statement said.
Some observers on social media have noted that the tweet has a certain ring to it, almost as if it wasn't written by the first lady herself, but rather some kind of media-obsessed third party ― but whoever close to her would fit that description?
All joking aside, some people have noted that the tweet sounded a bit more like President Donald Trump than her, although it's worth noting that there's no actual or concrete evidence on which to assert that. Earlier this month, as Ashley Feinberg detailed for HuffPost, Trump did use the same phrase seen in the first lady's tweet ― "working overtime" ― in a tweet in which he attacked the so-called "fake news."
In fact, Feinberg dug up several tweets where Trump uses the phrase "working overtime" in reference to the media, dating back as far as May of last year. Whether that's indicative of anything, or whether his particular style of tweeting has simply rubbed off on the first lady, is unclear.
It's also unclear when she'll make her next public appearance. Under normal circumstances, it would be highly unusual for a first lady of the United States to effectively go unseen by the world for three weeks, but that's basically been what's happened since May 10, four days before she checked into Walter Reed Medical Center for the reported kidney surgery.
The absence from the public eye is especially jarring given that the first lady had increasingly been taking on a greater public profile in the weeks leading up to her surgery. Specifically, she announced her "Be Best" initiative earlier this month, in which she identified the importance of well-being, stressed the importance of ending bullying on social media, and addressed the urgency of the opioid crisis.
It may sound like a slightly mismatched and odd trio of issues for her to be tackling, but regardless ― in addition to her long-stated desire to focus on cyberbullying as an issue, the "Be Best" rollout was one of her first major entries into the policy realm, something modern first ladies have traditionally done.
And yet, just days after the big announcement, she's dropped entirely out of public view. Thus far, it's totally unclear when she'll reemerge, which has indeed fueled media speculation, as well as various conspiracy theories about what's going on. It remains to be seen whether Wednesday's tweet will put these questions to bed.