Melania Trump Returns to the Spotlight After 24-Day Absence

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Nearly a month after vanishing from public view, first lady Melania Trump appeared Monday at a White House reception honoring Gold Star families.

Mrs Trump's communications director Stephanie Grisham did say the lack of media photos or videos of Mrs Trump from the Gold Star event was a decision made out of respect for the military families. "Thank you to the Gold Star families that joined us in celebration & remembrance", she wrote.

The last time Melania Trump participated in an official event was on 10 May, when the first couple greeted three former United States prisoners who had been released from captivity in North Korea.

"BUT BUT: The event is closed to the press, so Monday evening may not resolve the mystery", Stelter tweeted.

She did attend the G7 summit a year ago in Italy and also travelled to Germany in July for the G20, although she spent part of that trip trapped in her hotel suite while violent protests raged outside.

In the clip, they can be seen walking to their seats during the Gold Star Families reception to honour World War Two veterans.

The tweet sparked a conspiracy theory that Trump himself may have written Melania's message, given that "working overtime" is a favourite phrase of the president when he tweets about the press.

Questions surrounding Melania's absence grew increasingly loud in the last week, prompting the first lady to snipe at the press for inquiring about her.

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On Sunday the White House announced Melania will not travel with President Trump to the summit with North Korea in Singapore or the G7 Summit in Quebec.

In the weeks prior to her surgery, she was engaged in several high-profile events. It was Ms Trump's prolonged absence given her rising popularity - she led the president in approval rating in many polls - that was notable. She had not been seen publicly since undergoing a medical procedure in mid-May.

Whether the first lady's appearance at the reception will quell talk of her time away from the spotlight remains to be seen.

She sent early signals that she will not bow to speculation or public expectations about what she should be doing. "And they claim she came home to the White House".

The first lady herself tweeted photographs showing her in the audience.

It's still unclear when the first lady will make an appearance in public.

Now, Trump and his lawyers are arguing that the president can't, by definition, obstruct justice, and if he could, he can't be charged with any crime, and even if he were, he has absolute power to pardon himself - "essentially, that the president is above the law", Noah said.