Melania Trump makes first official appearance in weeks

WASHINGTON — Melania Trump made her first official appearance at the White House Monday night since her hospitalization more than three weeks ago – but out of view of the press.

The first lady joined President Trump for a reception welcoming families of service members killed in the line of duty. More than 40 Gold Star families from around the country were invited.

The private event with grieving military spouses and parents was closed to the press, but a spokeswoman for the first lady said she would be sending out a statement and photos later.

The decision to keep the press at bay was to respect the families, the White House said.

“It was closed press last year as well. These are Gold Star families. They have lost loved ones and deserve respect and privacy,” said spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham.

Melania Trump hasn’t been seen publicly since May 10. The White House announced four days later she was at Walter Reed Medical Center after undergoing a “successful” kidney procedure for a “benign” condition.

The White House has declined to offer details about her health, aside to say that she was recovering. The White House chose not to post any photos of Melania since her surgery.

The first lady’s spokeswoman issued a statement last week saying “she was hospitalized for almost a week and is now home and recovering. She has had several meetings internally with staff and will continue to do so this week.”

Melania Trump will be staying behind in the US while her husband soon departs for two big foreign trips.

The president heads to the G7 summit on Friday in La Malbaie, Canada. Then he heads to the Singapore summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on June 12.

The White House declined to release the names of the families invited to the reception.

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