Rumours of unease between America’s first couple haven’t been helped by the fact that Melania Trump broke tradition to arrive solo at her husband’s first State of the Union address.
For the past 17 years, First Ladies have accompanied the President on the short drive from their residence to Capitol Hill for the highly anticipated speech, but Melania, 47, opted for a different route.
She was met with a standing ovation as she entered the room just in the nick of time, taking her seat a minute before the address was scheduled to start.
Her communications director later explained that the mum-of-one arrived alongside a group of special guests, and that she was ‘honouring’ them rather than snubbing her husband.
"In addition to holding a White House reception and photo opportunity for them, along with their friends and family, she is accompanying them to the Capitol,” they told CNN.
In a post on Twitter, Melania explained that she was sitting with “heroes who have served our nation in times of need, families who have suffered at the hands of evil, and citizens who have embraced the American dream.”
She reportedly drove back from the address with President Trump.
Melania, who was elegantly dressed for the occasion in a white Dior pants suit, had last been photographed with her husband on New Year’s Eve after their wedding anniversary passed by very quietly earlier this month, and she pulled out of a trip to Switzerland with the President.
There’s been a lot of attention on the state of the couple’s marriage after a porn star claimed she was paid to keep her mouth shut about an alleged affair she had Trump. The White House have dismissed the claims as false.
Got a story tip? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org