POLITICS
07/06/2018 08:57 SAST | Updated 07/06/2018 17:32 SAST

Donald Trump Denounces Rumours About Melania Trump's Absence

Donald Trump on Wednesday addressed rumours about U.S. first lady Melania Trump’s nearly month-long withdrawal from the public eye.

Donald Trump on Wednesday addressed rumours about U.S. first lady Melania Trump's nearly month-long withdrawal from the public eye, denying that there was anything nefarious about his wife's absence.

The U.S. president also claimed that four reporters had spotted Melania Trump last week walking to a meeting, but said they chose not to report the sighting because it would have "hurt the sick narrative that she was living in a different part of the world, was really ill, or whatever". He did not name these reporters or any publications.

Melania has not made any public appearances since her office said she was hospitalised following surgery for a benign kidney condition last month.

Speculation about the reason behind the first lady's absence has included that she and the president were getting divorced, that she had undergone a plastic surgery procedure, and that she had joined special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation.

On Monday, Melania attended a private White House event that honoured "Gold Star" military families — a U.S. term for families who have lost a member in U.S. armed forces. A Daily Caller reporter in attendance shared a blurry video that captured the president and the first lady.

Some were unconvinced by the video, speculating that Melania's "return" was actually staged by a doppelgänger to prevent further scrutiny.

A tweet from the first lady's account included pictures of her sitting in the front row at the event.