Melania Trump attends first public event since kidney operation

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White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said that she has never heard Hagin say that, telling CNN that "I've worked very closely with Joe and it's just not how his mind thinks or the way that he operates".

A guest at the function told CNN that the President joked about the media asking, "Where's Melania?" Four days later, the White House announced that she had been hospitalized to treat a benign kidney condition.

"Mrs Trump has always been a strong and independent woman who puts her family, and certainly her health above all else, and that won't change over a rabid press corps", Ms Grisham said.

Until Monday, the first lady had been out of the public eye for 25 consecutive days. Smiling for cameras from Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland, Melania Trump wore a checkered suit and her ubiquitous high heels, appearing happy and well for the 3 a.m. celebration of citizens returning to American soil.

Grisham said the Gold Star families' event was important to Mrs. Trump and had been on her calendar for some time. Late night talk show host Conan O'Brien weighed in using a lame reference to former South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford's lie about hiking the Appalachian Trail while he was really visiting his mistress in South America.

The first lady's absence is providing fodder to Trump critics and online conspiracy theorists.

And a fifth cheeky viewer even compared her to Kim Kardashian, writing: "That looked like Kim Kardashian". In an email to NPR on May 29, Grisham said Melania Trump had "been involved in several internal meetings with staff" since leaving the hospital.

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

G7 summits are popular among spouses of the world leaders as they get together to attend various events of their own.

Her prolonged absence set off a flurry of controversy in the media. She made a fashionable splash on that trip, wearing a silver Dolce & Gabbana evening dress and a $51,500 floral coat by the same designers to a spousal program. The first lady said in a written statement after last June's event that these families "are a unique and distinct category of individuals who should be cherished". Melania Trump attended spousal events with Akie Abe, the wife of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who has twice visited the Trumps at Mar-a-Lago in Florida, and Brigitte Macron, the first lady of France, who would become a guest of honor at the Trumps' first state dinner.

The G7 summit will be held in Quebec on Friday and Saturday.

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