Right now, Donald Trump is in more legal hot water than ever before (and given his life and career, that’s really saying something!). This is a time when many were expecting him to receive the kind of intense public support from his family that extended from the campaign trail to his 2016 presidential victory and beyond. Instead, key family members like Ivanka Trump have been staying far away from their unpopular patriarch.
Of the family members that have seemingly abandoned Donald Trump when he most needs their public support, the most surprising is Melania Trump. We’ve previously seen her stand by her man through thick and thin. Now, though, it’s starting to look like Donald Trump has lost his wife’s support at the worst possible time.
Melania’s low profile for most of the year
Obviously, Melania Trump hasn’t gone so far as to make any public statements against her famous husband. Instead, what has been notable to some critics, including Melania’s former aid and former White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham, is the former First Lady’s surprising absence from the public spotlight.
In fact, Grisham (whom we should mention did have an epic falling out with Melania Trump) told CNN that “She is saying in her mind, you know, this is his issue, he can deal with it. He doesn’t need me there to prop him up, and I am too busy to go with him,” she said. “That’s who she is. She will show up by his side when she wants to. When she’s perfectly ready.”
We don’t know Melania’s exact motivations, and we certainly don’t know her future intentions. But looking back at the last year, it’s quite clear that, publicly at least, Melania is leaving Donald Trump to fight his own legal battles.
Keeping busy with her family (but not with Donald Trump)
It would be one thing if Melania Trump had just turned fully into a recluse after leaving the White House. However, we found it a bit shocking that it looks like she has the time to help out all of her family except Donald Trump.
For example, one of Melania’s acquaintances, Couri Hay, dished to the Times of London that Melania has been spending much of her time these days bouncing between helping her parents out and also trying to find the perfect college for her son, Barron, to attend. This is very sweet, of course, but many are wondering when she is going to lend some of her energy and influence to helping out her beleaguered husband.
Melania Trump is busy working on her own legacy
While Melania Trump has mostly avoided the spotlight since leaving the White House, and especially as Donald Trump began facing his most recent legal scandals, she has still found ways to stay busy. As Yahoo! reports, she previously claimed she had started a scholarship program named “Fostering the Future” through her Be Best charity.
We say “claimed” because no charities with that name have been found in either New York (Melania’s former home state) or Florida (Melania’s current state). While that may very well be its own scandal brewing, if we take Melania at face value, it looks like she is busy worried about creating her own legacy. Too busy, perhaps, to help Donald Trump with his ongoing legal difficulties or to publicly lend him much of her support.
Not the first time Melania surprisingly avoided the spotlight
Those who have been following Melania Trump’s decisions since Donald Trump won the 2016 election may not be that surprised that she is now avoiding the spotlight. And the reason for that is that she did so once before, and her decision to do so truly shocked the world.
After that election, everyone expected Melania to quickly move into the White House with her husband after his inauguration in January 2017. Instead, she remained in New York with Barron for a long time, and she publicly gave the reason that she didn’t want to disrupt Barron’s school year. However, as CNN reports, Mary Jordan claims in her book The Art of Her Deal: The Untold Story of Melania Trump that Melania’s real reason for avoiding the White House at first was that she wanted to renegotiate her prenup with her husband in order to offer better financial protections for their son.
In its own way, that’s a noble motivation. But that alleged incident also speaks to the idea that Melania isn’t afraid to withhold public support for her husband unless she can get something she wants out of that support.
Still aligned with Donald Trump’s vision
Despite Melania Trump staying out of the spotlight, though, she still issues rare support for Donald Trump. In an interview with Fox News Digital in May, for example, she signaled her support for her husband to win the 2024 presidential election. “My husband achieved tremendous success in his first administration, and he can lead us toward greatness and prosperity once again,” she said. “He has my support, and we look forward to restoring hope for the future and leading America with love and strength.”
Between the lack of recent support and that earlier statement of support for her husband’s future political success, it’s possible that Melania Trump wants to have it both ways. If her husband is convicted of any or all of his alleged crimes, she will have successfully distanced herself from him. But if he should emerge victorious and perhaps become president once again, chances are that Donald will remember the occasional times that she voiced support for him…and forget all those times she left him out to dry.