Trump lashes out at the media, alleging false reporting on wife's absence from public eye
WASHINGTON - President Donald Trump on Wednesday, June 6, lashed out at the news media, whom he accused of falsely reporting "vicious" stories about his wife during a more than three-week stretch in which first lady Melania Trump did not hold or attend any official events.
The first lady made her first return to public life Monday night, at a closed gathering that honored relatives of slain service members. She had not appeared in public since being hospitalized on May 14 for a procedure to treat what the White House called a benign kidney condition.
She is also scheduled to accompany the president Wednesday on a visit to the Federal Emergency Management Administration headquarters for a briefing on hurricane preparedness, where reporters will be present.
"The Fake News Media has been so unfair, and vicious, to my wife and our great First Lady, Melania," Trump wrote on Twitter. "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!"
In a second tweet, Trump asserted that four reporters had seen his wife in the White House last week "walking merrily along to a meeting."
"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," Trump wrote. "Fake News is really bad!"
Though there has been rampant speculation in Washington about alternate explanations for Melania Trump's absence from the public eye, most of the stories the president alleged were never published in the news media.
Melania Trump was last been seen by reporters at a public event on May 10 standing alongside her husband at Joint Base Andrews as the couple greeted three Americans who had been released from prison in North Korea. Four days later, the White House said in a statement that she had undergone a successful embolization procedure.Emily Heil is the co-author of the Reliable Source and previously helped pen the In the Loop column with Al Kamen.
John Wagner is a national reporter who leads The Post's new breaking political news team. He previously covered the Trump White House. During the 2016 presidential election, he focused on the Democratic campaigns of Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Martin O’Malley. He also chronicled Maryland government for more than a decade.