Melania will finally join Trump’s campaign trail - from the confines of Mar-a-Lago

Former US first lady Melania Trump, who has largely been missing-in-action throughout her husband Donald Trump’s latest presidential run, is due to make her first campaign appearance of 2024 later this month – albeit without leaving the comfort of her own home.

According to Politico, Ms Trump will host a fundraiser for the Log Cabin Republicans (LCB) group on Saturday 20 April, an event being held at the Trumps’ Mar-a-Lago home in Palm Beach, Florida.

LCB describes itself as “the nation’s largest Republican organisation dedicated to representing LGBT conservatives and allies”.

Ms Trump has long-running ties to the collective and was presented with an award at its 2021 gala dinner at Mar-a-Lago while Mr Trump himself addressed its 2022 gathering at the club.

According to Politico, which obtained an invitation, this year’s event’s host committee includes Republican donors Saul Fox and Amanda Schumacher and Richard Grenell – who served as the 45th president’s ambassador to Germany and acting director of national intelligence – as well as Elizabeth Ailes and Deborah Magowan, the widows of Fox News CEO Roger Ailes and San Francisco Giants owner Peter Magowan respectively.

Ms Trump has made few public appearances at all in recent months, let alone in support of her husband’s latest tilt at the White House. In fact, she has become such a figure of intrigue that spoof “Missing Melania” flyers were dropped over an Iowa football game her husband was attending last September.

In January, she was pictured attending the funeral of her mother, Amalija Knavs, at the Episcopal Church of Bethesda-by-the-Sea.

She was also seen out voting at a Florida polling station in the Republican primaries last month, where she was asked by a reporter whether she would soon join the campaign. Her reply was brief: “Stay tuned.”

Donald and Melania Trump on a rare joint outing in Florida last month (AFP/Getty)
Donald and Melania Trump on a rare joint outing in Florida last month (AFP/Getty)

Despite his wife’s absence from his campaign trail to date, Mr Trump attempted to make fun of primary opponent Nikki Haley earlier this year over her husband’s absence from her side at her own campaign events. Major Michael Haley was deployed overseas with the South Carolina National Guard at the time.

Asked, rather gingerly, by Fox News host Laura Ingraham at a town hall event in February about his wife’s absence from his political rallies, Mr Trump answered: “You know, a lot of first ladies would go out – they want to be everywhere. They get angry at their husband because he’s not introducing them.

“If I didn’t introduce Melania, she’d be very happy about it. She’s just a different kind of a person.”

He also said that his wife’s life “evolves around” their son Barron Trump.

“It’s so important to her. At the same time, it also revolves around our country and the success of our country. She’s raised a lot of money for charity. She’s a private person,” he said.

“And she loves the country. She’s going to be out a lot but she does it for the good of the country, not for her.”

Ms Trump often cut a sullen figure during her four years in the White House, where she was mocked over her taste in Christmas decorations and notoriously sported a jacket bearing the slogan “I REALLY DON’T CARE, DO U?” during a visit to a migrant detention centre on the Texas border.