A year into the presidency, Melania Trump raises her profile – The Denver Post

WASHINGTON — Donald and Melania Trump’s remarkably separate daily routines begin with him getting up around 5:30 a.m., watching cable news shows and tweeting.

The first lady wakes in her own bedroom a bit later, according to two close friends of the Trumps. She then readies their 12-year-old son for school, including checking to make sure his homework is in his backpack.

Amid the noise and churn of the Trump administration — most recently about how the president paid money to silence Stormy Daniels — Melania Trump has settled into a quieter routine, often apart from the president, raising their son and carving out a place for herself in a most untraditional White House.

The first lady has not directly addressed the affairs that Daniels and another woman, Karen McDougal, said they had with her husband. But she has noticeably begun to raise her profile, independent from the president’s, and she has called a news conference in the White House Rose Garden on Monday, a public appearance that would have been almost unthinkable just a few months ago.

“Her focus all along has been children and this launch is meant to formalize what her role will be for the next three to seven years,” said Stephanie Grisham, Melania’s spokeswoman. She said the first lady will devote the rest of the Trump presidency to the issues children face today and their well-being.

In recent weeks, the first lady has been at the center of more high-profile events than during the entire previous year — including attending the funeral of former first lady Barbara Bush solo.

Political marriages tend to be more complicated than most, but it’s striking that the Trumps make so little effort to project a more united front. Although both are keenly aware of the power of visual images, some of their memorable moments together are awkward: Melania swatting his hand away on a tarmac, and several times caught on camera seeming to resist his outreach.

U.S. first lady Melania Trump listens ...

Chip Somodevilla, Getty Images

U.S. first lady Melania Trump listens as French President Emmanuel Macron, left, speaks during a state arrival ceremony at the White House with U.S. President Donald Trump April 24, 2018 in Washington, DC.

“She is a dignified, private person, and she’ll deal with her personal life in private and it’s no one’s business,” said Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, a longtime friend of Melania’s. “They are not that couple that holds hands just because; she is old-world European and it’s not who she is.”

It is unusual to see a candid shot of the president enjoying an unplanned moment with his wife, or even with Barron, the first young son in the White House since John F. Kennedy Jr. in the early 1960s.

The Trumps are often apart even during their free time, according to several people who know the couple’s schedules. At Mar-a-Lago on holidays and weekends, the president golfs or dines with politicians, business executives and media personalities on the patio, while Melania is often nowhere to be seen. According to several current and former aides, the president and first lady often do not eat together in the White House either.

“They spend very little to no time together,” said one longtime friend of the president.

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