Melania Trump has reportedly rejected multiple requests to appear alongside her husband, former president Donald Trump, at campaign stops and appearances as part of the multiple criminal cases against him in New York and Florida.
The New York Times reported on Wednesday that the ex-first lady, who has eschewed the typical post-White House activities of her predecessors, has put most of her energies as of late into helping her 17-year-old son, Barron Trump, search for and apply to colleges. She also reportedly keeps her social circle small by choosing to spend time with her parents, her son, and “a handful of old friends” in addition to visits to hairdressers and consultations with longtime stylist Herve Pierre.
And while she is seen some Fridays meeting her husband, the twice-impeached and twice-indicted ex-president, for dinner at one of the properties he owns, she reportedly has zero interest in accompanying him on his quest to return to the White House by winning next year’s presidential election, and has not been by his side during arraignments in the two cases that have been brought against him thus far.
She did not even endorse his third campaign for the presidency until two months ago, when Ms Trump told Fox News Digital that the ex-president has her “full support”.
Her absence from the campaign trail is a stark contrast with the first two times he ran for president, most notably the first, when she accompanied him to his 2015 campaign announcement at Trump Tower.
But the Times report states that her lack of participation does not mean she disapproves of her husband. It said she is “particularly sceptical” of the defamation and sex abuse case brought against Mr Trump by writer E Jean Carrol, who earlier this year won a $5m jury verdict after a trial in which she testified that he attacked her in a department store changing room in the 1990s.
She reportedly expressed anger at Mr Trump’s lawyers for not raising enough objections during a deposition of her husband, and questioned why Ms Carroll did not remember the exact day she was allegedly assaulted.
Ms Trump has reportedly not closed the door to participating in her husband’s campaign, but former associates say if she does it will not be in a traditional way.
Stephanie Grisham, Ms Trump’s former chief of staff, told the Times: “I don’t think it’s going to be anything like what we’ve seen with Casey DeSantis,” and said Ms Trump would not be “throwing on jeans and walking in parades”.
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