In real time, as the siege on the Capitol was winding down on Wednesday, and National Guardsmen, Capitol Police and DC police were, like, shooing away violent terrorists without arresting them, there were some people mentioning Melania Trump. I barely remembered that Melania had actually returned to the White House from Mar-a-Lago with her husband just before New Year’s. I almost forgot about her because… Mel hasn’t done a damn thing in weeks. She didn’t make an appearance at her husband’s Nazi rally on the 6th, nor did she issue any statements or appear on-camera at any time on the day or since that day. Thankfully, CNN had the scoop about what Melania was up to as her husband incited his Nazis to lay siege to the Capitol: Melie Antoinette was doing a photoshoot. With the rugs.
As thousands of pro-Trump supporters streamed into Washington, DC, Wednesday headed first to the Ellipse to hear President Donald Trump speak, and then to the United States Capitol to lay siege to the epicenter of American democracy, first lady Melania Trump was doing a photo shoot at the White House.
Professional lighting, the sort used for photography and videography, could be seen through the windows of the White House. “Photos were being taken of rugs and other items in the Executive Residence and the East Wing,” a person familiar with the day’s activities with the first lady told CNN. Trump — who, as CNN has reported, has expressed interest in writing a coffee table book about decorative objects she has amassed and had restored in the White House — was overseeing the photo project, said the source, with her remaining time in the White House dwindling.
Just blocks away, domestic terrorists were swarming the US Capitol in a riot that her husband had incited earlier that day at the rally. While images of the mob breaking into the Capitol consumed the airwaves, the first lady was focused — with the White House chief usher, Timothy Harleth — on getting the shoot completed. Both the media, including CNN, and members of her staff were asking if Trump had plans to tweet a statement of calm, or a call to stop the violence — something she had done a handful of times months earlier during the protests surrounding the police killing of George Floyd. She did not.
Instead, the first lady was quiet, and has remained so. Her disinterest in addressing the country was indicative of being “checked out,” said another White House source, who added, “she just isn’t in a place mentally or emotionally anymore where she wants to get involved.” Except with the furniture.
Let me get this straight: Melania organized a photographer – official WH Photographer or otherwise – to work throughout the day on a photoshoot for all of the objets d’art she’s collected as FLOTUS? Because I doubt even that terrible cover story. And suddenly she’s doing a coffee table book? As George Orwell once said, I hope this bitch loses her book deal.
CNN also points out that two of Melania’s staffers quit that evening, the 6th – Stephanie Grisham and Rickie Niceta turned in their notices in protest of the Trumps. Melania, it’s said, will often check in with her husband through the course of the day by phone, but she apparently didn’t bother trying to speak to him about the terrorist hell he had wrought. Ivanka was the one who organized an emergency meeting with Trump and senior staffers during the siege.
Update: This morning, Mel’s office finally issued a statement condemning the Capitol siege. She sounds more upset about this story about her photoshoot than the terrorism, if I’m being honest.
— Melania Trump (@FLOTUS) January 11, 2021
Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Backgrid.