Signs Melania Trump Doesn't Want To Live In The White House Again

It's hard not to perceive Melania Trump's absence at Donald Trump's first 2024 residential debate as a pointed message to her husband: This journey is yours and yours alone, big guy. It's also fun to imagine Melania holed up in Trump Tower like a Midas-ified knockoff of Queen Elsa from "Frozen." Maybe she's in there singing "Let It Go" to Donald when the topic of his campaign comes up.

In a May 2023 interview with Fox News, the enigmatic former first lady insisted she's totally on board with her husband's attempt to get back into the Oval Office without any assistance from members of the J6 Prison Choir. But this doesn't necessarily mean she has to help him get there or join him at the White House if he does win the presidency. In recent years, several reports have suggested Melania would prefer to be a one-and-done first lady. "Being first lady again is not what she wants," a person with knowledge of her views on the matter told CNN in 2021. In June 2024, other Melania scholars who apparently understand the inner workings of her mind explained to Axios how she might navigate a second Donald presidency. They think she'd turn the first lady role into an unpaid part-time gig by only going to D.C. for major events.

For a long time now, there have been signs that Melania would rather not resume her former duties.

Melania Trump's first White House stay was seemingly no picnic

One of the biggest indicators that Melania Trump might not want to move back into the White House is how miserable she reportedly was the first time she had to reside there. Barron Trump's schooling provided the perfect cover to delay her move in 2017 and it sounds like she might have been dreading it immensely. "Melania is unhappy with how her life ended up," a family insider told Us Weekly in February 2017. "She is miserable." And this was before she even left her glamorous life in Manhattan behind.

In 2018, People reported that living in the D.C. fishbowl was especially tough for Melania because she's a pretty private person. It didn't help matters that her husband was making headlines almost daily for some scandal or another. "Now it's a 24/7 tornado. She hates it," an insider said. Melania also reportedly disliked some of the performative aspects of her job, including trying to charm world leaders with small talk. "She doesn't have a lot to say. She's not a conversationalist overall," the source explained.

Then there's that infamous yuletide meltdown. In a recording her former senior advisor, Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, shared with CNN, Melania complains about decorating the White House for the holidays. "I'm working ... my a** off on the Christmas stuff, that you know, who gives a f*** about the Christmas stuff and decorations?" she said. "But I need to do it, right?"

She reportedly wants to be wherever Barron Trump is

According to some reports, Melania Trump isn't going to stop being a helicopter parent just because Barron Trump is now an adult. And if this means that she has to reside thousands of miles away from the White House to keep a close eye on him, then so be it. "Melania's main job is taking care of Barron, and I think it's possible that she will follow him wherever he goes to school," a source told People in March 2024. The insider added that Melania will never prioritize her husband's political ambitions over her son.

The Telegraph reported that Melania doesn't want Barron involved in politics, and one way to keep him away from the White House would be for Melania to reside somewhere close to his college. Doing so would make it convenient for Barron to visit his mom whenever he wished, and it would decrease the risk of him getting roped into one of his dad's political schemes. The Daily Beast reported that Barron was considering attending New York University, which would allow Melania to return to Trump Tower.

In June 2024, a source even told Page Six that Melania and Donald Trump had already made an arrangement for her to possibly spend weeks out of the month in New York with Barron if Donald became president again. "She can provide both emotional and physical support by being close," the insider said.

She's shown little interest in helping her husband campaign

In February 2024, Donald Trump made a promise to Fox News that Melania Trump was going to start campaigning with him on a regular basis. "She's going to be out a lot, not because she likes doing it, but because she likes the results," he said (via The Telegraph). But Melania left her husband with egg on his face when her appearances at political events remained few and far between.

Perhaps denying Donald her presence was a small way for Melania to sabotage his campaign — it doesn't exactly inspire confidence in a candidate when he can't even get his spouse's support. "She is not one bit interested in another campaign, and certainly not participating in it," a source told People in 2021, adding, "If he should win, that would be the worst-case scenario for her."

While Melania and Donald are constantly plagued by rumors that their marriage is in trouble, it really seems like Melania's campaign absence has nothing to do with the state of their union. She was present at the Trump International Golf Club when Donald was presented with two trophies in March 2024, and the couple also attended the birthday party of attorney Alina Habba that April. The message Melania seems to be sending her husband is, if he wants to spend time with her, it better have nothing to do with his political aspirations.

Melania Trump is living la dolce vita at Mar-a-Lago

Melania Trump was reportedly eager to leave the White House in 2020 after Donald Trump's election loss, and by most accounts, her life drastically improved as soon as she hightailed it out of D.C. In March 2023, a source told People Melania was digging the sunny vibe in Florida, even though some "Stormy" weather rolled in when Donald's hush-money case reopened some old wounds. "Melania is leading her own life, and still feels happy being at Mar-a-Lago, surrounded by people who love her and who never talk about reality, or bad things about her husband," the insider said.

According to various reports, Melania began spending a lot of time pampering herself after she moved to Florida. "She goes to the spa, has lunch, goes to the spa (again) and has dinner with Donald on the patio," a source told CNN. Melania reportedly enjoys massages and getting her nails done, as well. According to The Washington Post, she sometimes has an employee fetch her something to snack on while she's relaxing in the sauna. And when it comes to her hair, The New York Times reports that she keeps it looking immaculate by jetting off to NYC to have her go-to stylist work their magic. It's hard to imagine Melania wanting to give up this cushy, undemanding lifestyle for one that requires her to work and face constant scrutiny. 

She seems cool with female surrogates filling in for her

While Melania Trump was stepping back from the spotlight in 2021, other women in Donald Trump's orbit seemed to crave it — namely Donald Trump Jr.'s fiancee, Kimberly Guilfoyle, and Eric Trump's wife, Lara Trump, who is now the co-chair of the RNC. "They have that same urge Trump has to (run) again; Melania absolutely does not," a source told CNN. At least Melania doesn't have to feel guilty about abandoning Trump whenever she ditches D.C. — he has some female surrogates ready and willing to fill in for her.

When Melania was living in the White House, she reportedly disliked the way Ivanka Trump was encroaching on her territory. According to the book "The Art of Her Deal: The Untold Story of Melania Trump," Ivanka was starting to act a little too much like she was the first lady. One thing she did that irked Melania was deciding to give the Oval Office a makeover.

Now, Melania seems content to let other women in the family act as de facto first ladies while she remains on the sidelines. For example, it was Lara who addressed the media outside the Manhattan courtroom where Donald's hush-money trial was held. Even though Melania was in New York at the time, she never showed up at the trial to support her husband. In other words, she just seems so over all of it.