Melania 'moving into White House this week'

First Lady Melania Trump and her son Barron arrive in Washington as they officially move into the White House.
President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump at Palm Beach International Airport in West Palm Beach, Florida, in April. The Politico news website reported that Mrs Trump and their young son Baron will be moving into the White House on Wednesda
President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump at Palm Beach International Airport in West Palm Beach, Florida, in April. The Politico news website reported that Mrs Trump and their young son Baron will be moving into the White House on Wednesday, the President's 71st birthday.PHOTO: NYTIMES

WASHINGTON • After staying in New York in Trump Tower since the election so their young son Barron could finish the school year, 47-year-old Mrs Melania Trump and the boy are reportedly moving to Washington this week to take their place in the White House.

The Politico news website, quoting people familiar with the family's plans, reported that the two will move in on Wednesday, the day President Donald Trump turns 71. The reported move comes amid the seemingly endless barrage of self-inflicted wounds, damaging Russia-related news leaks, vicious White House infighting and other turmoil.

Normally, when a new United States president takes over, his family is an automatic component of the transition. Mrs Trump is the first First Lady in modern history to delay her arrival in Washington.

During the week at least, Mr Trump has been living alone in the vast, private quarters of the White House as he fends off the flood of reporting over Russia having allegedly meddled in the 2016 US election with the aim of helping him defeat Mrs Hillary Clinton.

His family's arrival is not going to change much other than to give his marriage an air of stability, Professor Katherine Jellison, a history professor at Ohio University who specialises in First Lady studies, told Politico. "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," she was quoted as saying.

Mrs Trump's biggest public outing came last month when she and Mr Trump visited the Middle East and Europe on a trip that the White House later praised as a resounding success for the political and diplomatic neophyte President.

Mr Trump has said that, among other achievements, he rallied Arab support for fighting the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria group.

Critics say the high point of the trip was that the presidential couple did not commit any major diplomatic gaffes as they visited the centres of the Islamic, Judaic and Roman Catholic worlds, then Nato.

Mr Trump's wife did stumble badly during the presidential campaign when, in a speech to the Republican National Convention in July, she made remarks that at times mimicked the wording and themes of a speech former first lady Michelle Obama gave in 2008 at the Democratic convention.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 12, 2017, with the headline 'Melania 'moving into White House this week''. Print Edition | Subscribe