Here's What Trump Was Doing While Melania Was Hospitalized

by Caitlin Cruz
Win McNamee/Getty Images News/Getty Images

It appears that President Donald Trump didn't accompany First Lady Melania Trump for her hospitalization and surgery at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Monday. The White House said the first lady had a "benign kidney condition," according The New York Times.

"The procedure was successful and there were no complications," the White House statement reads. "Mrs. Trump is at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and will likely remain there for the duration of the week. The First Lady looks forward to a full recovery so she can continue her work on behalf of children everywhere."

The first lady's work for children that the statement refers to is the recently announced #BeBest campaign against bullying, which aims to empower healthier emotions in children.

Walter Reed National Military Medical Center is outside of Washington, D.C., which led author Amy Siskind to point out on Twitter that Melania Trump's procedure was missing from President Trump's daily schedule. Siskind, who wrote a book chronicling the differences in norms of the first year of the Trump presidency, called his bare-bones Monday schedule "busy."

According to his public schedule, President Trump received his intelligence briefing in the Oval Office at 11 a.m. ET, and Vice President Mike Pence joined President Trump for lunch in the private dining room at 12:30 p.m. Visiting Melania was not on the public schedule as of press time.

An anonymous source told the Associated Press on Monday that the president is expected to visit his wife, but that source "was not authorized to disclose the plan," according to the wire service. Bustle has reached out the White House to see if President Trump plans to visit the recovering First Lady.

President Trump eventually tweeted about his wife's surgery around 3 p.m. on Monday. "Heading over to Walter Reed Medical Center to see our great First Lady, Melania. Successful procedure, she is in good spirits. Thank you to all of the well-wishers!" Trump tweeted.

The first lady's surgery came on the same day that family members Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner were in Israel for the opening of the new U.S. embassy in Jerusalem. The surgery also came after a perplexing Mother's Day message from President Trump that failed to mention Melania.

Well wishes poured in from both sides of the aisle for Melania Trump, who has had a much more low-profile presence in Washington than many political spouses. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer tweeted his "sincere wishes for her speedy recovery," while Franklin Graham, the evangelical minister and son of legendary preacher Billy Graham, urged his Twitter followers to "pray" for the First Lady.

It's unsurprising that both liberals and conservatives would be reaching out as the FLOTUS has the highest approval rating she's ever had. According to a early May CNN poll, Melania Trump's popularity is at 57 percent among Americans. Among Democrats, the first lady's approval saw a 15 percent bump.

Following the first lady's recovery, she will likely return to her efforts for the Be Best campaign, which emphasizes emotional health and well-being in children. The three pillars of the Be Best Campaign are emotional well-being, social media abuse, and opioid addiction prevention.

It was a busy few weeks for Trump before the surgery as she announced her official platform as First Lady. She also hosted her first State Dinner with President Trump for French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife, Brigitte Macron, in April. The guests included White House staff such as Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Chief of Staff John Kelly as well as notable Trump supporters like Rupert Murdoch.