From the very beginning of the administration when she didn't immediately join her husband in the White House, the first lady and her whereabouts have been a frequent source of speculation. She's been absent more than usual lately, so many are wondering why Melania Trump isn't going to Singapore for the summit with North Korea or to the G7 summit in Canada.
As of Monday June 4, Melania Trump has not been seen in public since May 10, when she and the president welcomed home three Americans who had been held prisoner in North Korea. So far, that's 24 days out of the public eye, which includes the time she spent at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for a medical procedure to undergo a procedure treating a kidney condition. She spent nearly a week in the hospital recovering from the surgery, which led to some speculation that the surgery must have been quite serious. The White House statement immediately following the surgery, though, said that there were no complications.
The White House hasn't offered much information about why the first lady is staying out of the public eye for the time being, beyond a statement from her spokesperson brushing off any conspiracy theories. Bustle has reached out for comment on why Trump won't attend the summits.
Since her recovery, Trump has missed numerous events where the first lady would normally be expected to show up — the visit to Arlington National Cemetery on Memorial Day, for example, or the Medal of Honor ceremony. This, Politico reported, has led people into the realm of conspiracy theories to explain her absence. Many have come up suggesting that she's moved back to New York City or that she's cooperating with Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team. But Trump and her team have been brushing off all of these conspiracy theories.
"Sadly, we deal with conspiracy theories all the time — so this is nothing new, just more silly nonsense," the first lady's spokesperson Stephanie Grisham said, in reference to the false claim that Trump had moved back to New York.
Trump herself also responded to the outpouring of rumors on Twitter, writing on May 30 that she was fine and working hard.
"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!" Trump wrote.
People reported that Grisham accounted for Trump's whereabouts by saying that she'd been busy doing work at the White House.
“She’s been involved in several internal meetings with staff all last week, and that continues this week,” Grisham said, per People. “We’ve been going over initiatives and other long term planning for events such as the Congressional Picnic and 4th of July."
Melania Trump's decision not to go to Camp David with the rest of the family kept the speculation on Twitter and elsewhere going, though — just as her absence at the G7 and Singapore summits is likely to do as well. While CNN has reported that Melania Trump will appear at a White House event honoring Gold Star families, that is unlikely to quell all of the rumors, because it will be off-limits to the press.
Even Trump's own tweet only fueled more rumors. The Huff Post reported that people have jumped to the assumption that her husband wrote it because of its tone and its use of the phrase "working overtime," which he uses frequently but she had never used.
If Trump's surgery was serious, then it makes perfect sense why she would have wanted to remain out of the public eye to rest and recover — which would also explain the decision not to make the across-the-world trip that it would take to get to Singapore. Given that she's one of the globe's most public figures, though, it also makes sense that her absence would be causing people to wonder so much.