In a gesture that may have perplexed some viewers, Donald Trump's Mother's Day message skipped Melania altogether. In fact, the president focused only on his mother — the late Mary MacLeod Trump who immigrated to the United States from Scotland, in 1930 and passed away in 2000.
"She was just incredible. Warm, loving, really smart, [she] could be tough if she had to be but basically, she was a really nice person," Trump said in a video shared on his Twitter profile on May 13.
Trump shared praise for his late mother and American mothers who "helped [the United States] gain our independence," leaving the first lady and mother of Trump's youngest son, Barron Trump, out entirely. Donald Trump also didn't mention his former wives, Ivana Trump — the mother of Donald Jr., Ivanka, and Eric Trump — or Marla Maples, who is Tiffany Trump's mom. He said:
My fellow Americans, this Sunday is one of the most important days of the year: Mother's Day. It's a special opportunity to thank all of the mothers and grandmothers in our lives.
On the personal frontier, the president's message seems to be in contrast with former President Barack Obama's Mother Day message in 2016. In the 2016 video, Obama highlighted — among other things — his wife, Michelle Obama, saying, "I’m going to take a little extra time to say thank you to Michelle for the remarkable way she does the most important job: being a mom."
"Since the earliest days of our republic," Trump said, "America's strength has come from the love, courage, and devotion of our mothers. They helped us gain our independence. Through their grit, determination, and incredible spirit, they pioneered the West and settled the frontier. During World War II, America's mothers helped build the greatest arsenal for democracy."
While speaking about his mother, Trump said that she originally hailed from Scotland and met his father "when she was very young." He added that his parents had been married for "many, many years." "So much of what I’ve done," the president said, "and so much of what I’ve become is because of my mother."
Although Trump never mentioned Melania Trump, the first lady recently shared remarks on the struggles of being a mother at a White House event to honor the mothers and wives of American soldiers. "As a mother myself, I know what goes into raising a child," she said. "It takes an incredible amount of strength, a lot of time, a generous amount of patience, and all of your love. As moms, we are so incredibly privileged to be able to bring children into this world and be part of helping them grow into adults."
She added, "Children bring us endless amount of both joy and fear, they fill us with pride through their triumphs, and they love us in a manner that only other mothers can understand."
Although Trump didn't mention any of his current or former wives, those around him in his administration did, including Vice President Mike Pence. On Mother's Day, Pence shared photos of his wife and mother on Twitter, and said, "Happy Mother’s Day to my amazing Mom, Nancy Fritsch [and] to my wonderful wife, Karen (the best Mom 3 kids could ever have!) and to all of America's incredible Moms! Have a great #MothersDay!"
Trump's son, Donald Trump Jr., also gave his former wife, Vanessa Trump, a tribute on Mother's Day on Twitter. Trump Jr. said that his ex-wife was the "best mom in the world" for taking care of their five children "and me." In March, Page Six reported that Vanessa Trump filed for an uncontested divorce.
While wrapping his Mother's Day message up, Trump said that he missed his mother "a lot."