President Donald Trump lashed out at the media on Wednesday for reasonably questioning where his wife, first lady Melania Trump, had been since the start of May.
The first lady had not been seen for almost a month after she had received medical treatment for a benign kidney condition on May 14. She stayed at Walter Reed Medical Center for five days, after which she was discharged and presumably moved back into the White House.
Then nothing; no public appearances, no statements, barely even a tweet (save for one that was regarded by some as being written by someone else in the administration).
As this was an atypical situation, people began to speculate over the whereabouts of Melania. Some suspected the first lady had left the White House entirely, perhaps beginning the process of leaving her marriage. Others went darker, speculating that she was concealing abuse from the president.
Melania did eventually make a semi-private appearance earlier this week — several weeks after she had been treated for her medical condition — attending a ceremony honoring Gold Star military families.
And on Wednesday, she made a more public appearance, her first since May 10, to participate in an event with her husband discussing disaster preparedness.
“She went through a little rough patch, but she’s doing great,” the president said, recognizing she had been gone for quite some time.
Earlier on Wednesday, however, Trump was less patient with people's speculations, taking to Twitter to chastise the media over wondering where the first lady was, saying they were treating her “unfair.”
“During her recovery from surgery they reported everything from near death, to facelift, to left the W.H. (and me) for N.Y. or Virginia, to abuse,” Trump wrote Wednesday morning. “All Fake, she is doing really well!”
The Fake News Media has been so unfair, and vicious, to my wife and our great First Lady, Melania. During her recovery from surgery they reported everything from near death, to facelift, to left the W.H. (and me) for N.Y. or Virginia, to abuse. All Fake, she is doing really well!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 6, 2018
Trump also suggested that some reporters saw Melania in the White House but didn’t report on it.
...Four reporters spotted Melania in the White House last week walking merrily along to a meeting. They never reported the sighting because it would hurt the sick narrative that she was living in a different part of the world, was really ill, or whatever. Fake News is really bad!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 6, 2018
Disregarding Trump’s rant this morning, the American people deserve to get the truth from this White House on topics that matter to them. A first lady is entitled to her privacy if she wants it, but the media is also entitled to getting straight answers from this administration.
Being out of the public eye is fine — if Melania needed some time away from the spotlight, that could be understood, and all the president had to say was as much. However, when the White House says she’s going in for surgery for two to three days (for a procedure that usually just takes an afternoon to complete), then says she’s recovering from said surgery (when recovery time for the condition is typically much quicker), eyebrows begin to raise.
The president’s outrage over rumor and innuendo surrounding his wife is understandable. What isn’t acceptable, however, is Trump’s continual misleading statements he makes to the public. He does this on other issues as well — but the fact that he tries to mislead on statements relating to his wife only lends credence to the claim that we cannot trust this president, even on simple topics, to deliver us the truth.
Nevertheless, it is good to hear that Melania is fine. If only we could say the same thing about this president.
Thumbnail/Banner Credit: Reuters