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Melania Trump Makes First Public Appearance in Weeks at Gold Star Reception


WASHINGTON – After more than three weeks out of the public eye, First Lady Melania Trump made a public appearance at a White House event on Monday for military families.

The White House did not allow journalists to cover the Gold Star event out of respect for the grieving families. But video posted on Twitter showed President Trump strolling through with the first lady by his side, and the first lady's Twitter account included a post as well.

"Gold Star families have lost an immediate family member who was serving during wartime, and they are a unique and distinct category of individuals who should be cherished," the first lady said in statement. "These families have endured the ultimate in pain and sacrifice on behalf of our country, and I am honored to have spent the evening with them.

Speculation had been rising in the major media outlets over Melania's whereabouts after a medical procedure hospitalized her shortly.

The first lady hadn't made a public appearance since May 14, when she underwent a successful procedure to treat a benign kidney condition. Her prolonged absence set off a flurry of controversy in the media.

"What has happened to Melania Trump?" read a Newsweek headline. "Conspiracy theorists discuss the first lady's absence."

The 48-year-old eventually took to Twitter to allay public concerns.

"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!"

Meanwhile, Melania Trump's spokeswoman, Stephanie Grisham, said earlier that the first lady has been meeting with staff and working on projects at the White House.

But Grisham says the first lady will not be accompanying her husband this week at the G7 summit. Likewise, she will also be skipping the upcoming meeting with North Korea's Kim Jong Un.

The G7 summit is scheduled to take place on Friday and Saturday in Quebec. President Donald Trump will then meet with Kim on June 12 in Singapore. It's the first leaders' summit between the US and North Korea, which are still formally at war.

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