During an event in the Rose Garden on Monday, Melania Trump will formally announce her platform as First Lady, just 16 months into her tenure. According to CNN it has something to do with the well-being of children, but she’s yet to explain exactly what that means.
In honor of this occasion, the Washington Post took a closer look at the First Lady’s private life in a piece published Sunday. The big revelation: the woman who’s possibly best known for attempting to avoid holding her husband’s hand in public may not like spending time with him in private either.
It wasn’t always like this. Years ago, Melania would enthusiastically voice support for her husband and his interests, like his quest to find President Obama’s birth certificate. But the Post reports that nowadays she lets him revel in right-wing conspiracies on his own:
Donald and Melania Trump’s remarkably separate daily routines begin with him getting up around 5:30 a.m., watching cable news shows and tweeting.
The first lady wakes in her own bedroom a bit later, according to two close friends of the Trumps. She then readies their 12-year-old son for school, including checking to make sure his homework is in his backpack.
Melania is often MIA when the president flees the White House for one of their other residences. Even when they’re both home, it doesn’t appear that they’re following the Obamas’ tradition of a nightly family dinner:
The Trumps are often apart even during their free time, according to several people who know the couple’s schedules. At Mar-a-Lago on holidays and weekends, the president golfs or dines with politicians, business executives and media personalities on the patio, while Melania is often nowhere to be seen. According to several current and former aides, the president and first lady often do not eat together in the White House either.
“They spend very little to no time together,” said one longtime friend of the president.
Contrary to the rumor that Melania actually lives in suburban D.C. near her son Barron’s school, people who work in the White House say she spends a lot of time there, and has a good relationship with the staff. She’s said to be very close to Barron and her parents, which may account for her relative lack of public appearances. The White House would not say where her parents live, or whether they keep a room at the White House like Michelle Obama’s mother.
Melania’s spokesperson, Stephanie Grisham, insisted that she’s just focused on her family and role as First Lady, and definitely isn’t avoiding her scandal-plagued husband. “Aside from the president’s solo trips, the family spends most evenings together,” she said.
Melania’s longtime friend Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, who left an advisory position with the First Lady’s office amid reports about her firm profiting from the inauguration, also defended her relationship with the president.
“She is a dignified, private person, and she’ll deal with her personal life in private and it’s no one’s business,” Winston Wolkoff explained. “They are not that couple that holds hands just because; she is old-world European and it’s not who she is.”
She also said of the first couple’s relationship, “they have an unspoken affinity.” See? The First Couple is definitely keeping the romance alive.