Melania Trump has yet to uphold many of the traditions of First Lady, including moving into the White House and accompanying her husband on public outings. Many in D.C. are asking the question: Where is Melania Trump?


Donald Trump traveled to Dover Air Force Base this week to pay his respect to fallen Navy SEALs, but was accompanied by his daughter Ivanka Trump rather than his wife. This has raised some questions as to what type of role Melania will play in the White House.

The first family has already confirmed that Melania will not be moving into the White House for a few months, but will stay in their lavish Manhattan apartment while son Barron finished the school year. And only just this week did Melania name her chief of staff (Lindsay Reynolds), a task that is usually done before Inauguration Day. The First Lady still has yet to fill other positions such as social secretary and communications director.

“I am putting together a professional and highly experienced team, which will take time to do properly,” she said in a statement on Wednesday. “I am excited to be organizing and bringing together such a dynamic and forward thinking group of individuals who will work together to make our country better for everyone.” Melania also decided on interior designer Tham Kannalikham for the private rooms of the White House, and rumor has it, is planning to announce Natalie Jones as her social secretary.

The First Lady is also generally in charge of answering requests for White House tours and organizing events, such as the annual Easter Egg Roll. “She is far behind the curve compared to where modern first ladies have been by the time their husbands are inaugurated, in a quite unprecedented way,” Myra Gutin, professor at Rider University, told The New York Times. “We are in uncharted territory here.”

Sources close to Melania say she does plan on taking on greater responsibilities, but is not eager to establish a bigger public presence. Michelle Obama left the office with a 68% approval rating, and was perhaps the most celebrated first lady of the modern era. According to polls, Melania’s approval rating is lower, at 37%. However one in four Americans had no opinion of her whatsoever.

“Everybody has expectations of what they think it should be, but the reality is it’s really for the first lady to determine how she can fulfill the role that’s true to her,” said Anita McBride, former chief of staff to Laura Bush, told the Times. “We’re just used to seeing these announcements done before an inauguration and everybody in place on Day 1, but that doesn’t mean it has to happen that way.”

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