Late-night talk show host Stephen Colbert pushed the conspiracy that First Lady Melania Trump has gone missing during his show on Monday, the same day she was seen sitting next to her husband President Donald Trump during a solemn White House ceremony in which Gold Star Families were honored.
“As of the time we are taping this show right now, the first lady has not been seen in public for 25 days,” Colbert said during Monday’s night episode of The Late Show. “I’m not surprised. It took that Shawshank guy years to tunnel out.”
“They say she is perfectly fine and I certainly hope that’s true,” Colbert continued. “And they claim she came home to the White House. Trump even welcomed her back in a tweet in which he accidentally called her ‘Melanie.’ Awkward.”
“Could you imagine if he called her the wrong name in bed?” he quipped. “She might hear it from down the hall.”
Mrs. Trump recently underwent a kidney operation to treat a benign condition and has since been absent from public life. However, she was reported to have attended ceremony on Monday event for Gold Star families that was closed to the press.
“This is just weird,” the Late Night host added. “We’re used to our first ladies being out and about. Nancy Reagan was always out there telling kids to ‘just say no.’ Michelle Obama would sometimes just show up in people’s living rooms and tell them to drop and give her 20.”
The late-night funnyman’s quips, however, came on the same day that Mrs. Trump was seen sitting next to her husband President Donald Trump during a solemn White House ceremony in which Gold Star Families were honored.
“It was a privilege to welcome Gold Star Families to the White House today to recognize our Nation’s fallen heroes and their families,” Mrs. Trump said in a statement released after the event. “To all those who have lost loved ones in service to our country, our nation grieves with you.”
A short video showing the Trump’s walking into the ceremony circulated online.
NEW: First lady Melania Trump attends White House event honoring Gold Star families in her first public appearance in more than 3 weeks after kidney procedure. https://t.co/tBIJFFuLfp pic.twitter.com/EK42nyuSRG
— ABC News (@ABC) June 4, 2018
Last week, Mrs. Trump attempted to quash rumors of her activity by claiming she was still recovering at home in the White House, while also attacking the media for “working overtime” with their speculation.
“I see the media is working overtime speculating where I am & what I’m doing,” she wrote on Twitter. “Rest assured, I’m here at the White House [with] my family, feeling great, & working hard on behalf of children & the American people!”
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
Indeed, the rumors around Mrs. Trump staying under the radar have mushroomed into outright hysteria. Atlantic Senior Editor David Frum hypothesized that Mrs. Trump had been beaten by the President. Rolling Stone senior writer Jamil Smith insisted Mrs. Trump’s absence was “about concealing abuse.” CNN media watchdog Brian Stelter told his Reliable Sources audience that Mrs. Trump had been “invisible,” while failing to mention that CNBC’s Eamon Javers had confirmed days earlier that Mrs. Trump was seen walking around in the White House.
Mrs. Trump has previously been the target of mockery on Colbert’s show. In 2016, actress Laura Benanti impersonated an interview she gave to CNN’s Anderson Cooper where she discussed the “locker-room talk” used by her husband.