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Former first lady Melania Trump is staying out of the public eye as Donald Trump runs for president.

Former first lady Melania Trump is staying out of the public eye as Donald Trump runs for president.
Former first lady Melania Trump is staying out of the public eye as Donald Trump runs for president.


WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – After Melania Trump missed key events in her husband's presidential bid earlier this year, from the 2024 election kickoff in Iowa to the Super Tuesday victory of Donald Trump, party reporters asked the former first lady if she planned to run for office. country path. His response: Stay tuned.

But since making the comment in March, after she and Donald Trump voted in the Florida primary, Melania Trump has largely refrained from appearing in public. The few exceptions include a few fundraisers in April and their son's high school graduation.

The former first lady clearly did not accompany the presumptive Republican presidential candidate during the days of his secret trial which lasted more than a month in New York. She wasn't there last month for the guilty verdict or the next day for her remarks at Trump Tower. She also did not appear on June 14 at Trump's 78th birthday party organized by his fan club, nor at any of the campaign rallies he has organized in recent months.

Her absence during the trial and other important moments is unusual, said Katherine Jellison, a history professor at Ohio University who studies first ladies. But Jellison said perhaps that shouldn't come as a surprise, as Melania Trump appears reluctant to take on the traditional public role of a politician's wife. As first lady, she also kept a low profile and was not regularly present during her husband's defeat in the 2020 presidential campaign.

But everything the Trumps are doing seems to go against the standard behavior of candidates and their spouses,” Jellison said.

Melania Trump's behavior deviates from the way other politicians have leaned on their spouses. Sometimes, politicians turn to their wives to try to reach female voters. Candidates can also be joined by their spouse to give voters a better idea of ​​what the candidate is like outside of the political arena.

During this year's Republican primary, for example, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis' wife, Casey DeSantis, traveled with him, gave interviews, and formed a coalition named Mamas for DeSantis before shelving her candidacy for the inauguration. Vivek Ramaswamy's wife, Dr. Apoorva Ramaswamy, was also on the campaign trail, often appearing with their two young children to talk about the importance of family.

The Associated Press contacted 15 people who recently attended major fundraisers or visited Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate. None reported meeting Melania Trump at the Florida property.

His office did not respond to multiple requests for comment. His only recent public statement came two days after the Florida Republican Party announced with fanfare that his son Barron Trump, 18, had been chosen as the state's delegate to the Republican National Convention and his office said that he could not do so, citing prior commitments.

Reporters at the New York courthouse during Trump's criminal trial repeatedly asked him, “Where is Melania?” but he never responded. Trump's allies cited their son's school schedule as the main reason for his absence, without denying that it was a sensitive time for the family.

Trump's lawyer, Todd Blanche, was asked if there was any talk of her accompanying him to court.

It wasn't a discussion I wanted to have, Blanche responded, speaking to Miami trial lawyer David Oscar Markus for his For The Defense podcast. “This was a difficult case due to the nature of the charges, the evidence presented, the history and length of the case.

Some testimony showed how Trump allegedly had sex with porn actor Stormy Daniels in July 2006, approximately four months after Melania Trump gave birth to Barron; Trump has denied Daniels' claims. Former Trump lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen said Trump didn't seem to care about how the dating story he sought to bury would harm his marriage as much as he cared about what that this will harm his 2016 presidential aspirations.

But Hope Hicks, communications manager for the 2016 Trump campaign, said Trump was concerned in 2016 about how a story related to Playboy model Karen MacDougal would be viewed by his wife and wanted her to make sure newspapers are not delivered to their residence.

Melania Trump hasn't posted anything on her social media accounts after her husband was convicted on 34 counts. This contrasts with Trump's older sons, who quickly condemned the verdict. His daughter Ivanka Trump posted a photo on Instagram of herself when she was little with a younger Trump and the message I love you dad. Tiffany Trump, his younger daughter, accompanied him to the courthouse last month for closing arguments in the trial.

I think it's very difficult for her,” Trump said of his wife, in an interview with Fox News after the verdict. “I mean, she's fine. But you know, she has to read all this bullshit.

Despite her absence on the campaign trail, Trump often mentions her and shares conversations between the two, showing his supporters that she is still involved behind the scenes in offering comments to the former president.

Larry Snowden, president of the Club 47 supporters group, said he last saw the former first lady at a February gala hosted by the Trumpettes, a women's supporters group. He said he never had a one-on-one interaction with her, but when he saw her there, she was so charming.

She was so happy, and she smiled and accommodated everyone who wanted to come and shake her hand or anything,” Snowden said.

Snowden said he expects Melania Trump to show up throughout the campaign and deliver key speeches, but also believes the former president will continue to be very protective of her.


Gomez Licon reported from Miami. Associated Press writer Darlene Superville in Washington contributed to this report.




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