Rolling Stone‘s Jamil Smith tweeted his suspicions about the “the prolonged, poorly explained public absence” of First Lady Melania Trump on June 3.
I wish that I didn’t suspect that the prolonged, poorly explained public absence of Melania Trump could be about concealing abuse. I wish that it was a ludicrous prospect. I wish that the @POTUS wasn’t a man with a history of abusing women, including those to whom he is married.
— Jamil Smith (@JamilSmith) June 3, 2018
Smith is not the first to trade in conspiracy theories about Melania’s recent step back from the spotlight. Ideas have ranged from an unhappy move back to New York, to plastic surgery, to hiding out with the Obamas while she writes her tell-all. CNN’s Brian Stelter falsely told the audience of Reliable Sources that she had become “invisible.” Atlantic Senior Editor David Frum also tweeted out a conspiracy theory that the First Lady was a victim of domestic abuse by Donald Trump and that the Secret Service might be covering it up.
The First Lady’s Office has reported that Melania was hospitalized at Walter Reed military medical facility for a routine kidney procedure on May 14. The embolization was a success, and the First Lady spent the remainder of the week in recovery. Just before that, she launched her “Be Best” family policy initiative.
Not long after her recovery, CNBC correspondent Eamon Javers reported seeing her in the West Wing. But, just as he suggested, it has not deterred conspiracy theorists.