FILE - in this May 7, 2018, file photo, First lady Melania Trump speaks on her initiatives during an event in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington. Melania Trump is trying to tamp down speculation about why she has not been seen in public in nearly three weeks, but it isn't completely working. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

First lady stays behind on Trump's Camp David weekend

June 01, 2018 - 3:41 pm
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WASHINGTON (AP) — Melania Trump stayed behind while the president left on a weekend getaway Friday, making it 22 days since she last appeared in public.

President Donald Trump boarded the presidential helicopter on the South Lawn of the White House in the afternoon with his daughters Ivanka and Tiffany, his oldest son Donald Jr., and his son-in, law Jared Kushner. The group appeared headed for a family weekend, minus the first lady, at the official Camp David presidential retreat in Maryland's Catoctin Mountains. Trump's youngest son, Barron, 12, also was not seen boarding the helicopter.

The White House had said earlier Friday that Mrs. Trump would skip this trip, but gave no official reason.

Her mother, Amalija Knavs, was seen walking along the White House grounds around midday Friday.

The first lady was last seen May 10 when she and Trump welcomed home three Americans who had been released from detention in North Korea.

Four days later, the White House announced that she had been hospitalized to treat a kidney condition described only as benign. She spent five days at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center just outside Washington before returning to the White House two weekends ago.

The president said last week that his wife is "doing great." She has been meeting with staff and working on projects, according to her spokeswoman. But it remained unclear when the first lady will make her next public appearance.

Trump, meanwhile, said "a little relaxation and a lot of work" are on his weekend agenda.

Speaking to reporters following a lengthy Oval Office meeting with a top aide to North Korea's leader, Trump said he'll also be talking to a lot of foreign leaders while at Camp David.

"I'm negotiating trade deals," he said.

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