Melania Trump set to make her D.C. move next week

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump are pictured.

Staffers hope the first lady will be a stabilizing presence in a White House that’s been consumed by scandal and infighting.

President Donald Trump’s White House residence — where an increasingly isolated figure under siege conducts his late-night phone klatches and early morning tweetstorms — is about to get a little less lonely.

With the school year over, first lady Melania Trump and the couple’s son Barron are expected to finally make their official move to Washington on June 14, according to people familiar with the planning.

The long-anticipated move — Trump is the first first lady in modern history to delay her arrival — is expected to lend some degree of normalcy to a presidency defined by its abnormality in substance and style.

“Her presence is not going to stop any investigations, but at a time when this particular presidency needs an air of stability, it might lend that,” said Katherine Jellison, a history professor at Ohio University who specializes in first lady studies. “The move helps to give the impression that the president is currently in a stable, solid marriage and that his home life is under control.”

Melania Trump’s parents, Victor and Amalija Knavs, are also expected to become more familiar figures around the White House, helping care for Barron, though they don’t plan to relocate full time to Washington, as Michelle Obama’s mother, Marian Robinson, did. The hyperinvolved grandparents currently live with their daughter and grandson in the Trump Tower penthouse and spend most weekends with the Trumps at Mar-a-Lago, or at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey.

Over the past few weeks, the often stiff-in-her-role first lady has been spending more time in the White House, building out her East Wing staff, preparing the residence for the family and slowly increasing her schedule of public events. On Sunday evening, she attended a fundraising gala for Ford’s Theatre, and on Monday she and Trump hosted a reception at her soon-to-be-home to honor Gold Star families.

But the June 14 date is seen as a major marker on the White House calendar — when the first lady puts away the full matching set of Louis Vuitton luggage that she travels with and settles in for good.

The long-awaited permanent move is seen internally at the White House as potentially a major shift for a president who has grown increasingly cheerless in his job, lashing out at aides in frustration and taking out his anger over how he thinks he is being treated on Twitter.

No one expects Melania Trump to be a fail-safe against the message-destroying morning tweets that Trump often starts his day with — there is an understanding in the White House that no family member has the power to control the president. On Monday, for instance, Melania Trump was on the premises when Trump spent his morning online, attacking London Mayor Sadiq Khan following a terror attack and calling the redrafted version of his travel ban a lesser, “watered down, politically correct version” of his original.

But in general, people in Trump’s orbit said, the first lady sees the tweets as damaging to her husband and generally tries to advise him toward restraint. And she is occasionally successful. On Trump’s foreign trip, aides credited Melania Trump’s presence, as well as a busier schedule, for his nine-day break from off-message tweets.

“I’m very happy she’s moving here,” said Sam Nunberg, a former Trump campaign aide who has spent time with the couple. “She’s a strong influence and personality, and I think she comforts him.”

Read More
%d bloggers like this: