White House denies Melania doesn't live here anymore

The White House has had it with the rumors about Melania Trump.

During Monday’s briefing, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders was asked about a Washington Post story that described a chilly relationship between President Trump and first lady Melania Trump in the wake of allegations of the president’s past relationships with adult film actress Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal. Specifically, a reporter asked Sanders to respond to reports that Melania Trump lives in the Washington suburbs with her son and parents, rather than in the East Wing of the White House. The Post reported it as an unverified rumor, and its own reporting indicated that Trump does live in the White House, although she and the president sleep in separate bedrooms.

“Just when you think the Washington Post can’t get things any more wrong, they do,” Sanders replied. “That is an outrageous and ridiculous claim. The first lady lives here in the White House, we see her regularly, and I think that’s something that belongs in tabloid gossip, not on the front pages of the Washington Post, and I hope that they’ll do better next time.”

As the Post noted in its piece, Melania Trump, 48, stayed in New York for the first six months of her husband’s presidency, looking after their son, Barron, as he finished his school year in Manhattan. Since then, the couple has participated in a relatively limited number of public photo opportunities, and the president, 71, frequently takes solo trips. While the Post interviewed several White House insiders who described strained ties between husband and wife, others on staff painted a happier portrait of the first couple.

President Donald Trump kisses first lady Melania Trump following an event where Melania Trump announced her initiatives in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, Monday, May 7, 2018. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
President Donald Trump kisses first lady Melania Trump following an event where Melania Trump announced her initiatives in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, Monday, May 7, 2018. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

If there is distance between the president and his wife, it was not on display Monday when Melania announced a new “awareness campaign” aimed at helping vulnerable children, dubbed “Be Best.” “There is one goal about Be Best, and that is to educate children about the many issues they are facing today,” she said in a prepared speech during a Rose Garden event. “If we truly listen to what our kids have to say, whether it be their concerns or ideas, adults can provide them the support and tools they need to grow up to be happy and productive adults who contribute positively to society and their global communities. At the same time, children deserve every opportunity to enjoy their innocence.”

President Trump was on hand for the event to sign a proclamation designating May 7 as “Be Best Day” and joined his wife at the podium, offering kisses and a speech praising her role.

“America is truly blessed to have a first lady that is so devoted to our country and to our children,” Trump said of his wife. “Over the past 15 months, Melania has visited hospitals, schools, families who have suffered from the opioid crisis and suffered very deeply. Everywhere she has gone, Americans have been touched by her sincerity, moved by her grace, and lifted by her love. Melania, your care and compassion for our nation’s children, and I have to say this and I say it to you all the time, inspires us all.”

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