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Melania Trump Is Back — But May Soon Go ‘Missing’ Again

Former President Trump Votes In Florida’s Primary Election In Palm Beach

Melania spotted in the wild on March 19, 2024 in Palm Beach, Florida.
Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Melania Trump has been found, but don’t throw out your “Where is Melania?” flyers or call off the search planes just yet.

The former First Lady appeared at Donald Trump’s November 2022 presidential campaign announcement. Then she skipped all of her husband’s political events and court appearances for more than a year, even as her absence became a meme. In recent weeks, Melania has been dipping her toes into return to campaigning, but she still won’t commit to jumping back in.

Throughout 2023, Melania said and did almost nothing to indicate that she wants to return to the White House. Her only statement on the matter came in May 2023, via a brief online-only, photo-free interview with Fox News. “He has my support, and we look forward to restoring hope for the future and leading America with love and strength,” she said.

This led to some awkward interview moments for Donald Trump. When asked on Meet the Press back in September 2023 when his wife would join him on the campaign trail, he replied, “Emm, soon? Yeah, pretty soon. When it’s appropriate. But pretty soon.”

As it turns out, “pretty soon” meant “within five or six months,” depending on whether you consider hanging out with some Trumpettes in her own home a public campaign appearance. On February 11, 2024 Melania attended a fundraising gala hosted by the Trump fan club at Mar-a-Lago.

Days later, Trump claimed in an interview with Laura Ingraham that his wife was eager to get back out there. “She’s gonna be out a lot. Not because she likes doing it, but because she likes the results. She wants to see this country really succeed,” Trump said. “She’s gonna be out quite a bit, and she loves this country and she wants it great.”

But we’ve only seen Melania three times since then, and two of the events weren’t technically campaign-related. On March 19, 2024 she joined her husband to vote in the Florida GOP primary (which, of course, he won). When a reporter asked Melania if she’d be hitting the campaign trail, all she said was “stay tuned.”

Five days later, Melania was by her husband’s side as he received two golf awards at the Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach.

Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

And she showed up to a glitzy 40th birthday party for Trump’s attorney Alina Habba on March 30 at Mar-a-Lago.

This recent uptick in Melania sightings doesn’t necessarily mean she’ll be at a MAGA rally anytime soon. On Friday CNN reported that seven months before Election Day, she’s still thinking about how she want to engage with the Trump 2024 campaign, if at all:

“She’ll definitely have a role, but in terms of what that is, I don’t know,” a source close to the Trump campaign said. “It is her decision on how much or how little she will be campaigning.”

Numerous sources, both within and close to the campaign, told CNN that, as of now, there is no indication of Melania Trump having a ramped-up role anytime soon, while also cautioning that at any point she could make the decision to hit the trail of her own accord.

“She is very selective and methodical in what she wants to do and how she presents herself,” a source close to former President Donald Trump said. “She is very decisive with these things and knows they have a lot of intended and unintended consequences.”

And as planning gets underway for the Republican National Convention in July, Melania has yet to confirm she’ll participate:

Even her role at one of the most high-profile stages of the campaign, the Republican National Convention – where her husband will formally become the Republican nominee – hasn’t quite been nailed down. The source close to the former president said the campaign has just started engaging with convention officials last week. They assume Melania Trump will have some role – yet it has not been set.

So sure, Melania will “definitely have a role” in Trump’s 2024 campaign, but perhaps only in the sense that “absent, disapproving spouse” is a role.


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