Where Is Melania Trump? Will the First Lady Move to the White House?

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President Donald Trump and his daughter Ivanka Trump walk toward Marine One while departing from the White House, on February 1, 2017 in Washington, DC. Trump made an unannounced trip to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware to pay his respects to Chief Special Warfare Operator William “Ryan” Owens. (Getty)

When President Donald Trump went to Dover Air Force base to show his respects as the body of a slain Navy SEAL returned to America, his daughter – not his wife – was at his side.

People noticed that the FLOTUS, the First Lady of the United States, was missing.

Melania Trump wasn’t present, either, when Trump announced his choice for U.S. Supreme Court, Neil Gorsuch, although other family members were there, and Gorsuch’s wife stood in prominent attendance.

In fact, as of February 2, Melania hadn’t made an official public appearance as First Lady since the January 20 inauguration, although she was photographed walking down a New York street.

What gives? Will the First Lady ever move to the White House? Why is she MIA? Are the Trumps leading separate lives?

Here’s what you need to know:

1. Trump Said Previously That Melania & Barron Would Move to DC in June & a Spokesperson Denied Reports That Has Changed

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Donald Trump said previously that the First Lady and their young son, Barron, would stay in New York City until Barron was done with the school year, so as not to disrupt his life. According to The Daily Beast, when Melania returned to New York City two days after the inauguration, she became “the first first lady to live separately from the White House since 1853.”

Then, the plan was, Melania and Barron would move to the White House to live with Trump in June, going there on the weekends for now. However, CNN reported Melania made her last official appearance at the prayer service in Washington D.C. the morning after the inauguration.

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Trump attends the National Prayer Services with his wife first lady Melania Trump, at the National Cathedral, on January 21, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Getty)

The next day, “which coincided with the couple’s 12th wedding anniversary, Melania Trump returned to New York City, Barron in tow,” CNN reported. Melania, of course, was a fixture at the inaugural balls and inauguration itself, being widely praised for her fashion sense.

However, now, some unconfirmed reports say that FLOTUS might stay in New York for good. US Magazine reported that Melania and Barron might never follow Trump to the White House at all. The only time Melania has been spotted since the inauguration? The photo below is of her running errands with Barron on Park Avenue in New York.

US Weekly quoted an anonymous “family insider” as saying, “They will reevaluate toward the end of the school year if they will keep this arrangement or if Melania and Barron will move to Washington. They could go either way right now. They will ultimately do what’s best for Barron.”

However, a spokesperson for Melania told CNN that report was false, saying, “Mrs. Trump will be moving to DC and settling in to the White House at the end of the school year, splitting her time between New York and DC in the meantime,” and adding that Melania takes the FLOTUS position seriously and “is honored to serve this country.”

Barron Trump has been subjected to ridicule in the public eye, such as when an SNL writer was suspended after joking that the 10-year-old might be a homeschool shooter.

CBS New York reported that the mayor’s office and New York Police Department are “reevaluating” the costs of security after published reports that the First Lady and Barron might stay in New York. According to the television station, it costs $500,000 a day to protect the president when he is in New York and less when he’s not, but security costs to protect Melania and Barron don’t come cheap.

The New York Daily News said security costs rose as high as $1 million a day to protect the president and his family when he they were all living in New York after the election.

2. Ivanka Trump, not Melania, Accompanied the President on a Solemn Official Duty

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Donald and Ivanka Trump. (Getty)

Despite saying she has no interest in playing the role of First Lady, it was the president’s oldest daughter, Ivanka, who walked at his side when the body of Navy SEAL William “Ryan” Owens was arriving at Dover Air Force base on February 1.

Owens’ death was the first combat death in a mission authorized by Trump. The SEAL died in a firefight with Al-Qaeda terrorists in Yemen.

That’s about as serious and important of an issue as it gets, yet the First Lady did not accompany her husband to Dover.

Melania hasn’t tweeted from her private account since election day.

Her official FLOTUS account? The last tweet was on January 21.

The Daily Beast has dubbed her an “absent First Lady.”

According to CNN, a spokesperson for the First Lady had said after the inauguration that she would be “splitting” her time between DC and New York but that hasn’t happened. Melania is supposed to appear on the February issue of Vanity Fair Magazine, but it’s an old photo. She hasn’t given any interviews, and she’s been silent since the inauguration on what cause she will embrace as FLOTUS, although she said during the campaign she wanted to fight against cyber bullying.

3. Melania Didn’t Come Down for the Weekend Because of Protests but is Expected at Mar-A-Lago

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On Sunday, January 29, thousands of demonstrators gather near The White House to protest President Donald Trump’s travel ban on seven Muslim countries on January 29, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Getty)

The Trumps had said that, until June, Melania and Barron would come down to the White House on the weekends, while remaining in the Trumps’ New York City penthouse during weekdays.

However, Trump’s first weekend in the White House came and went sans Melania.

The reason given: The protests in Washington D.C. over the president’s immigration ban, according to the New York Daily News. Of course, there were protests over the immigration ban in New York too.

Donald Trump was rocked by a series of allegations during the presidential campaign that he groped women during his marriage to Melania. He strongly denied the accusations, and Melania adamantly defended her husband in a television interview, saying she didn’t believe the women.

Melania is expected at the Trump’s Palm Beach estate on Saturday, February 4 for the International Red Cross charity ball.

4. Melania Has Started Hiring Staff but Some Positions Remain Unfilled

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US President Donald Trump and the first lady Melania Trump enter the Liberty Ball at the Washington DC Convention Center following Donald Trump’s inauguration as the 45th President of the United States, in Washington, DC, on January 20, 2017. (Getty)

Melania Trump has started to make some key hires for the First Lady’s office. However, there are still key positions that remain unfilled. CNN reported that the First Lady made her first hire on February 2, choosing Lindsay Reynolds as her chief of staff. According to the network, Reynolds “previously served in the George W. Bush White House and brings more than 14 years of political fundraising, event management and logistical expertise to the position.”

The Daily Beast reported that the First Lady has yet to hire a press secretary and communications director. In contrast, the news site reported, Michelle Obama “had a press secretary on the campaign and appointed a social secretary by November, after her husband was elected.” However, Melania has hired a New York event planner, Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, to be a senior adviser, reported The Washington Post.

However, a source told US Magazine that Melania was actively hiring staff, adding: “While she is a mom first, she is very much embracing the role and responsibilities of first lady.” CNN reported that 20-30 positions remain unfilled.

5. Trump has Commented That He Prefers the Solitude Because He Can Work Longer

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Judge Neil Gorsuch (C) and his wife Marie Louise look on, after US President Donald Trump nominated him for the Supreme Court, at the White House in Washington, DC, on January 31, 2017. (Getty)

Is Trump upset by Melania’s absence? If he is, he isn’t showing it.

He told David Muir in an interview that he didn’t mind being alone because he ends up working more.

“No, because I end up working longer. And that’s OK,” Trump said, according to The Hill.

It would not be unheard of for a presidential couple to divorce while in office, at least in a global sense; it happened in France to Nicolas Sarkozy. However, Melania’s dances with the president, recent hires, and her loving interview defending him during the campaign would seem to put to rest any such rumors. There were multiple moments of affection between POTUS and FLOTUS at the inauguration too: