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Here’s why Melania Trump hasn’t moved into the White House yet

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Moya Crockett
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Shortly after the US election, it was revealed that Melania Trump would not be moving into the White House when her husband took office. The news prompted raised eyebrows in some quarters, as people wondered what the new First Lady’s reluctance to leave Manhattan could mean. 

The former Melanija Knavs has always stressed that her ten-year-old son Barron, her only child with Donald Trump, is her top priority, and – despite her assertion in 2000 that she would be a “traditional First Lady” – she’s already made clear that she’s not interested in sticking close to her husband’s side. She returned to New York City just two days after President Trump’s inauguration, and hasn’t been back to Washington D.C. since. On Wednesday, meanwhile, it was “surrogate first lady” Ivanka Trump who accompanied her father to honour a naval officer killed during a bungled raid in Yemen – a duty traditionally performed by the president’s wife.

However, FLOTUS’s people have asserted that Melania will be moving into the White House – eventually.

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Melania and Donald Trump arriving in Washington the day before his inauguration. She has not appeared in D.C. since shortly after her husband was sworn in.

“Mrs. Trump will be moving to D.C. and settling in to the White House at the end of the school year, splitting her time between New York and D.C. in the meantime,” the First Lady’s senior adviser, Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, told CNN.

She continued: “Mrs. Trump is honoured to serve this country and is taking the role and responsibilities of First Lady very seriously. It has only been a short time since the inauguration, and the First Lady is going to go about her role in a pragmatic and thoughtful way that is unique and authentic to her.”



This statement echoes the explanation given by then president-elect Trump back in November, when he said that his wife and son would join him in Washington after Barron had completed his year at Columbia Grammar and Preparatory School in New York, where a year’s tuition can cost almost £38,000.

However, a “family insider” told US Weekly on Wednesday that the much-anticipated move may not happen at all. “They will re-evaluate toward the end of the school year if they will keep this arrangement or if Melania and Barron will move to Washington,” said the source. “They could go either way right now.”

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Melania Trump with her son Barron, who she has described as her top priority.

Also apparently preventing the First Lady from spending more time in D.C. with dear Donald is the lengthy recruitment process as she assembles her own personal staff.

She announced this week that she has hired Lindsay Reynolds, who previously worked for George W. Bush’s administration, as her chief of staff.



However, CNN reports that FLOTUS hasn’t yet hired the rest of her staff, announced any of her official platforms, released a social-events schedule or a Washington calendar – moves most former First Ladies have made swiftly.

The First Lady alluded to the delay in a statement, saying: “I am putting together a professional and highly experienced team, which will take time to do properly. I am excited to be organising and bringing together such a dynamic and forward-thinking group of individuals who will work together to make our country better for everyone.”

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Only two previous First Ladies in American history did not live in the White House. Anna Harrison, the wife of 19th century Whig president William Harrison, never entered 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue because her husband died from pneumonia while she was packing for the move.

Martha Washington, wife of the first president of the United States, George Washington, didn’t occupy the White House either. However, she had a good excuse: in 1789, when her husband took office, the house hadn’t been built yet.  

Images: Getty, Rex Features

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Moya Crockett

Moya is Women’s Editor at stylist.co.uk, where she is currently overseeing the Visible Women campaign. As well as writing about inspiring women and feminism, she also covers subjects including careers, podcasts and politics. Carrying a tiny bottle of hot sauce on her person at all times is one of the many traits she shares with both Beyoncé and Hillary Clinton.

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