It’s been almost three weeks since Melania Trump visited a Maryland medical center for what news reports described as “an embolization procedure to treat a benign kidney condition.” Though the procedure apparently went off without a hitch and Melania returned home to “recover,” there have been absolutely zero photos of the First Lady in the days since she allegedly arrived back at White House — which, of course, has led to considerable speculation as to what happened to Melania.
It certainly didn’t help public suspicions when Donald Trump stood on the White House lawn pointed and told reporters that Melania was standing in a window when, in fact, she was nowhere to be seen.
President Trump pointed to a window in the White House.
“She’s doing great. She’s looking at us right there.”
Reporters turned to look. There was no sign of the first lady. https://t.co/JxPiSJJuVq
— Washington Post (@washingtonpost) May 25, 2018
It wasn’t long before everyone started joking about Melania’s “disappearance” on Twitter.
Melania has changed the location of her personal twitter account to New York. Mighty interestin’. pic.twitter.com/NXkzNl3l8S
— Tea Pain (@TeaPainUSA) May 28, 2018
The Carmen Sandiego hat should’ve been a tip off that Melania would soon go missing. pic.twitter.com/1Y8AUVwidy
— OhNoSheTwitnt (@OhNoSheTwitnt) May 29, 2018
With the cult Trump’s leading, I wouldn’t be surprised if Melania went missing for the rest of his presidency & nobody questioned it like the Scientology douche and his missing wife.
— Alt Fed Employee (@Alt_FedEmployee) May 29, 2018
Melania Trump has not been seen in 15 days.
I wonder if she is with the 1,475 missing immigrant children that the Trump Administration lost.
— Brian Krassenstein (@krassenstein) May 27, 2018
The First Lady was prompted by the public speculation to release a statement about her current whereabouts. On Wednesday, Melania tweeted that she was, in fact, at the White House, and that she was “feeling great.”
I see the media is working overtime speculating where I am & what I’m doing. Rest assured, I’m here at the @WhiteHouse w my family, feeling great, & working hard on behalf of children & the American people!
— Melania Trump (@FLOTUS) May 30, 2018
Of course, there was no photo or selfie to accompany this claim.
The fact that “working overtime” is one of Donald Trump’s own favorite social media phrases did not go unnoticed by Twitter.
— Luke O’Neil :/ (@lukeoneil47) May 30, 2018
I did some digging and it looks like somebody else tends to use the phrase “the media is working overtime…” https://t.co/8B2WmFlSUr
— Bess Kalb (@bessbell) May 30, 2018
The bizarre tone of the tweet (coupled with Melania’s continued absence from the public stage) has led Twitter to the (half-joking) conclusion that Donald Trump has coopted Melania’s phone and is lying about her whereabouts.
This is EXACTLY what a hostage would say. https://t.co/5lLpnwU0NW
— Rex Huppke (@RexHuppke) May 30, 2018
Blink twice if he has your phone. https://t.co/n7MB8ajN8b
— Rick Wilson (@TheRickWilson) May 30, 2018
Who wrote this? https://t.co/GQ5VB8rAzM
— Nada Bakos (@nadabakos) May 30, 2018
Could you post a photo of yourself with today’s newspaper? https://t.co/HmXjSiJ9vx
— Graham YES Linehan (@Glinner) May 30, 2018
“Trust me, Melania, the person tweeting this.” https://t.co/0OzyWvHiCR
— Dana Schwartz (@DanaSchwartzzz) May 30, 2018
yeah thats not donald with her phone https://t.co/cVTfKtSA72
— darth™ (@darth) May 30, 2018
This….doesn’t sound like Melania https://t.co/u7MjWkbuvI
— Robert Maguire (@RobertMaguire_) May 30, 2018
oh she dead https://t.co/ow29ClsFnY
— FIONA (@BigHPrivateEye) May 30, 2018
In all likelihood, Melania is likely recovering from a cosmetic procedure. Considering the fact that she’s been noticeably absent from photos and her recovery time has been far longer than that required for a kidney embolization procedure, it’s more probable that the First Lady had a brow- or eyelift and is currently avoiding photographs until her face has recovered. (Though I’m not trying to shame anyone for getting cosmetic work — you do you, girl.)
However, I suppose it’s also possible that she’s A.) being held hostage by her husband, or B.) avoiding him completely.
Either way, when Melania does return to public life, there’s a decent chance it’s going to be awkward as hell.