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‘Facelift or near death’: Trump attacks Melania rumours

Melania Trump has made her first public appearance outside the White House in nearly a month at a hurricane response briefing in Washington.

It comes just hours after her husband President Donald Trump criticised the media over "fake" reports regarding her recent absence from public view.

The US first lady sat alongside Mr Trump at the head of a conference table during a visit to the Federal Emergency Management Agency headquarters in Washington.

"She had a little rough patch, but she's doing great," the president said of his wife.

Image: The Trumps with VP Mike Pence at the Federal Emergency Management Agency HQ

"We're very proud of her, she's done a fantastic job as first lady," he added.

"People love you. The people of our country love you. Thank you, honey."

Mrs Trump underwent a kidney procedure last month and was in hospital for five days.

Wednesday's appearance was her first outside the White House since 10 May.

The US leader said the media had been "vicious" towards the first lady during her recovery from surgery in a series of tweets.

"The Fake News Media has been so unfair, and vicious, to my wife and our great First Lady, Melania," Mr Trump tweeted.

Melania Trump smiles during a hurricane response briefing at the FEMA
Image: Melania Trump smiles during a hurricane response briefing at the FEMA

He added: "During her recovery from surgery they reported everything from near death, to facelift, to left the W.H. (and me) for N.Y. or Virginia, to abuse. All Fake, she is doing really well!"

Mrs Trump, 48, re-emerged at a private White House reception on Monday.

The president added that members of the press had spotted Mrs Trump heading to a meeting last week but failed to report on it.

In a second tweet, he said: "…Four reporters spotted Melania in the White House last week walking merrily along to a meeting.

"They never reported the sighting because it would hurt the sick narrative that she was living in a different part of the world, was really ill, or whatever. Fake News is really bad!"

The Fake News Media has been so unfair, and vicious, to my wife and our great First Lady, Melania. During her recovery from surgery they reported everything from near death, to facelift, to left the W.H. (and me) for N.Y. or Virginia, to abuse. All Fake, she is doing really well!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 6, 2018

…Four reporters spotted Melania in the White House last week walking merrily along to a meeting. They never reported the sighting because it would hurt the sick narrative that she was living in a different part of the world, was really ill, or whatever. Fake News is really bad!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 6, 2018

It was announced earlier this week that Mrs Trump would not be accompanying her husband on two upcoming key foreign trips.

Mr Trump is due to attend the G7 summit in Quebec this week before travelling to Singapore for a summit with North Korea's Kim Jong-un on 12 June – but his first lady will not be with him.

Her disappearance sparked numerous conspiracy theories over her whereabouts in the media – such as moving to New York City to work on a tell-all book about her husband.

Mrs Trump's only public communication since the kidney procedure has come via six tweets.

More from World

The most recent – sent on 30 May – addressed the speculation over her absence.

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

She wrote: "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!"

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