“The first lady is great,” the former Celebrity Apprentice host, 71, told reporters on the South Lawn of the White House before boarding Marine One. “She wanted to go, [but] can’t fly for one month, the doctors say. She had a big operation. That was a close to four-hour operation. She’s doing great. And you know what? She is a great first lady.”
Throughout the 25-second clip, Donald repeatedly pointed his finger toward the windows on the upper floor of the White House, telling the reporters that Melania, 48, is “right there.”
White House communications director Stephanie Grisham announced on May 19 that the former model underwent a successful “embolization procedure to treat a benign kidney condition” at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. She remained in the hospital for several days and stayed out of the public eye for another three weeks.
Melania spoke out in a May 30 tweet about her whereabouts after some people expressed worry over her absence from the spotlight. “I see the media is working overtime speculating where I am & what I’m doing,” she wrote. “Rest assured, I’m here at the @WhiteHouse w my family, feeling great & working hard on behalf of children & the American people!”
The Slovenia native attended a White House event honoring Gold Star families on Monday, June 4, marking her first public appearance since the surgery. However, the reception was closed to the press. She was finally photographed two days later when she attended a hurricane briefing at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) headquarters with her husband and Vice President Mike Pence.
“She went through a little rough patch,” the president said at the meeting. “But she’s doing great.”