After growing speculation that bordered on the bizarre, President Donald Trump came to the defense of his lady Wednesday morning.
Taking to social media, the president called out the “Fake News Media” for its “unfair and vicious” rumor mongering over first lady Melania Trump’s whereabouts after she had not been seen in several weeks following surgery for a kidney condition.
Wild speculation included rumors that Mrs. Trump left her husband, flipped on him by going to special counsel Robert Mueller, had plastic surgery and even suggestions that the president beat her and she’s hiding the bruises.
Exhibit A, from David Frum, the shameless senior editor of The Atlantic.
Suppose President Trump punched the First Lady in the White House (federal property = federal jurisdiction), then ordered the Secret Service to conceal the assault. POTUS has Article II authority over Secret Service. Is that obstruction? Under Sekulow/Dowd, apparently NO
— David Frum (@davidfrum) June 2, 2018
Trump referenced some of the vicious rumors in his tweet.
“The Fake News Media has been so unfair, and vicious, to my wife and our great First Lady, Melania. During her recovery from surgery they reported everything from near death, to facelift, to left the W.H. (and me) for N.Y. or Virginia, to abuse. All Fake, she is doing really well!” he tweeted.
Such viciousness would have been universally condemned by these same media outlets had it been directed at former first lady Michelle Obama.
“Fake News is really bad!” President Trump said in a second tweet on the matter, as he pointed out that “four reporters spotted Melania in the White House last week walking merrily along to a meeting” but “they never reported the sighting because it would hurt the sick narrative that she was living in a different part of the world, was really ill, or whatever.”
With the reporting of Mrs. Trump’s whereabouts reaching a crescendo last week, with the anti-Trump liberal network CNN doing an entire segment speculating over where she could be, CNBC’s Eamon Javers tweeted that he had indeed seen the first lady.
“Not that this will deter the conspiracy theorists, but I saw the First Lady walking with her aides in the West Wing yesterday afternoon,” he tweeted.
Not that this will deter the conspiracy theorists, but I saw the First Lady walking with her aides in the West Wing yesterday afternoon. https://t.co/N9xadq7P0d
— Eamon Javers (@EamonJavers) May 30, 2018
The rumor mill was further fueled when it was reported that the first lady would not be making the 22-hour flight to Singapore with President Trump to attend the June 12 summit between the U.S. and North Korea, and would also be skipping the G7 summit being held in Quebec on June 8.
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) June 4, 2018
Melania Trump made her first public appearance since her surgery on Monday at the White House reception honoring Gold Star families. She appeared healthy, wearing a sleeveless black dress.
— Melania Trump 45 Archived (@FLOTUS45) June 5, 2018
The president joked about the media’s treatment of his wife at the event, saying they said she had left him.
…which was subsequently spun as negatively as possible by said anti-Trump media:
"Did she leave him?" @realDonaldTrump jokes about the rumors surrounding @FLOTUS's lengthy absence from public view. A sort of awkward bit of humor in a room full of military families who have lost loved ones.
— Kate Bennett (@KateBennett_DC) June 4, 2018
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