Politics

Melania Trump avoids saying if she will participate in the election campaign

When the former president voted in Florida's primary election Tuesday, the former first lady was by his side.

This was notable for several reasons.

Former President Donald J. Trump has said for months that his wife, Melania, would join him on the campaign trail. And for months, Mrs. Trump remained absent from campaign events and victory celebrations — after Mr. Trump claimed victory on Super Tuesday, his wife did not join him on stage to greet his supporters at Mar-a-Lago, their home in Palm Beach. , Florida.

Always more content to be a cipher to the curious public than to answer questions in a playful manner, Mrs. Trump did something unusual when she responded to someone who asked if she planned to be a more present presence regularly in the future.

“Stay tuned,” she said.

It was an answer, but not an answer.

(“This is the answer she gives when she doesn't want to commit to anything,” Stephanie Grisham, her former communications director who wrote a memoir about the Trump White House, said in a text message.)

Mrs. Trump, 53, has officially been a political wife for nearly a decade, but she has shown little interest in campaigning, despite her popularity as her husband's surrogate mother.

Her public appearances in recent months have been rare and have not been helpful to her husband's campaign.

One of his most notable was delivering the eulogy for his mother, Amalija Knavs, who died in January. In the rare speech, Ms. Trump, who was close enough to her mother that Ms. Knavs and her husband, Viktor, often lived in a White House suite, described her mother as “a ray of light in the darkest of days.” dark”. .”

Before that, Ms. Trump, a naturalized U.S. citizen, attended a naturalization ceremony in December and told attendees that citizenship “means actively participating in the democratic process and protecting our freedom.” (Ms. Trump received an immigrant visa reserved for “individuals of extraordinary ability” in 2001, when she was a model, and the circumstances surrounding his immigration process faced intense scrutiny when she was first lady.)

And in November, she joined other living first ladies at a memorial service for former first lady Rosalynn Carter.

On Tuesday, Mr. Trump told people gathered outside the Palm Beach polling station that he had voted for himself. A spokeswoman for Mrs. Trump did not immediately respond to a request for information about the former first lady's vote.

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