President Donald Trump chose to spend time with his recovering wife instead of appearing as a guest of honor at Israel’s 70th anniversary of independence celebration in Washington, DC, on Monday night.
Israeli ambassador to the United States Ron Dermer told the event’s crowd of hundreds at the Andrew Mellon Auditorium that Trump wanted to be at the event, but chose to attend to the first lady, who had undergone a planned medical procedure that day.
Vice President Mike Pence later identified the first lady’s treatment as a “long-planned” medical procedure and the reason that Trump had asked Pence to stand in for him at the event.
Vice President Mike Pence praises President Donald Trump for standing with Israel, says Trump wanted to be there, but asked Pence to attend so Trump could be with First Lady Melania Trump after her long-planned medical procedure #Israel pic.twitter.com/tb91WietGb
— Michelle Moons (@MichelleDiana) May 15, 2018
Mrs. Trump was taken to Walter Reed military medical facility on Monday morning to undergo an embolization procedure to treat a benign kidney condition. “The procedure was successful and there were no complications,” according to a statement from the first lady’s office. She is expected to remain at the facility for the remainder of the week. “The First Lady looks forward to a full recovery so she can continue her work on behalf of children everywhere,” the statement concluded.
Husband Donald Trump left the White House Monday evening to visit with wife Melania for over an hour. The two spoke with one another earlier in the day, the first lady’s communication director Stephanie Grisham confirmed to Breitbart News.
Monday also marked the dedication and opening of the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem. Trump issued a declaration last December recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and ordering the U.S. embassy in Israel moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
President Trump was one of 70 honorees at the Israeli independence event, “because of his bold and historic decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital,” the ambassador told attendees. The Vice President brought the crowd greetings and congratulations from the President and accepted a recognition medal for President Trump from the state of Israel.
“The President asked me to be here tonight because, as you all no doubt are aware, earlier today the first lady underwent a long-planned medical procedure, and I’m pleased to report the procedure was a success and Melania is already on the mend.”
Pence said he spoke for “people everywhere when I say that Mrs. Trump is in our hearts. We pray for her speedy and full recovery and we look forward to her returning to her work making a difference in the lives of our nation’s children.”
Mrs. Trump unveiled her policy platform last week, “Be Best.” It promotes the physical and emotional well-being of children and tools to help them succeed.
“As people across the country and this world have come to appreciate, Melania is a remarkable woman and the United States of America is blessed to have her as our first lady,” said Pence. “Get well soon, Melania.”
The hundreds gathered responded to the well-wishes for the first lady with applause.
Follow Michelle Moons on Twitter @MichelleDiana