President Donald Trump has fired back at what he called “unfair and vicious” rumours about his wife Melania as the first lady made her first public appearance after nearly a month away- an absence that had become something of a national puzzle.
Trump posted on Twitter : “They reported everything from near death, to facelift, to left the WH (and me) for NY or Virginia, to abuse. All Fake, she is doing really well!” Later the first lady appeared in Washington and sat next to the president at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) headquarters, where they received a briefing on the 2018 hurricane season.
At the briefing, Trump said: “She’s doing great. She went through a little rough patch but she’s doing great. We’re very proud of her. She’s done a fantastic job as first lady.” He added: “The people of our country love you, so thank you, honey.” However, the first lady did not speak at the meeting.
Until Monday, when she appeared at a White House event for families whose relatives have died in military action, Melania Trump had not been seen in public since 10 May. On 14 May, the White House had announced that the first lady had undergone a routine kidney procedure at Walter Reed medical center, near Washington, and that there were no complications. The news was met with surprise: there was no prior indication she had been unwell. Speculation began to build on social media when Melania Trump remained in hospital longer than expected and cancelled a series of appearances. Last weekend it was announced she would not be joining her husband at Camp David, the presidential retreat in Maryland. On Sunday, the White House said she would also not be present for this week’s G7 summit in Canada or the planned 12 June talks in Singapore with North Korea.