Melania’s mysterious trip to Palm Beach: First lady leaves after one day

Jan 26, 2018
HANDOUT/The Palm Beach Post
First Lady Melania Trump arrives at Palm Beach International Airport in West Palm Beach, Florida on January 12, 2018. The president will be spending the weekend at Mar-a-Lago. (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)

First lady Melania Trump left Palm Beach Friday evening — about 28 hours after she arrived — leaving unanswered the question: Why was she here?

The first lady made no public appearances while she was in Palm Beach County and her office did not respond to questions about the visit.

COMPLETE COVERAGE: Donald Trump in Palm Beach

Speculation was that she might attend a ball Friday night at Mar-a-Lago for Young Adventurers Inc., chaired by her sister-in-law, Elizabeth Trump Grau, the president’s older sister. Terri W. Bomar, president of Young Adventurers, said they believed the first lady would attend but were told Friday night she had left at the last minute to meet President Donald Trump in Washington upon his return from Switzerland.

Keeping track of the first lady’s whereabouts is a challenge. Her motorcade is smaller and less conspicuous than the presidents. Roads are not closed for her as they are for the president’s motorcade.

But about 5:30 p.m. on Friday, Secret Service agents and a security detail with the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office streamed out of the private terminal at Palm Beach International Airport that Air Force One and other presidential aircraft use.

The president went to Switzerland on Wednesday to speak at the World Economic Forum. He returned to Washington, D.C. about 7 p.m. Friday. 

USA today reported that the first lady had planned to accompany her husband to Switzerland but cancelled at the last minute. She instead visited the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum by herself on Thursday, before heading to Palm Beach. International Holocaust Remembrance Day is Saturday.

PHOTOS: Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago visit, Jan. 12-15

The president, first lady and their son, Barron, visited Mar-a-Lago during the Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend, from Jan. 12-15. They were scheduled to return last weekend for a big-ticket fundraiser at Mar-a-Lago, where the president planned to celebrate his first year in Office. He scrapped those plans when the government shut down.

Palm Beach Daily News reporter Carla Trivino contributed to this story.