The day after a CNN interview with a former Playboy model who claims to have had a 10-month affair with her husband, first lady Melania Trump opted to leave President Donald Trump alone for the ride from the White House to Andrews Air Force Base.
The official White House schedule, released Thursday evening, stated the first couple would depart the White House together aboard Marine One en route to Joint Base Andrews, but Mrs. Trump did not appear beside her husband. CNN reached out to the first lady's communications office for an explanation or comment on the change in plan but did not receive a response.
On Monday, the first couple walked together across the South Lawn to Marine One, and then on to New Hampshire. A brief trip on the grass made for a moment between husband and wife, as Trump, with his arm around his wife's waist, caught Mrs. Trump as she fell -- in return, she placed her arm around him.
However, on Friday, no such public display of affection. This week has been a busy one for the first lady, who gave remarks about the opioid crisis in New Hampshire as well as met with representatives from the internet to discuss kids and social media at the White House on Tuesday. Just this afternoon she delivered a speech at the State Department as part of the International Women of Courage awards' ceremony.
On February 16, the day news first broke about Karen McDougal's alleged affair, Mrs. Trump took a previously unscheduled separate motorcade to Joint Base Andrews in the same manner as today.
At the time, the first couple was headed to Florida to visit victims of the Parkland high school shooting. The first lady's communications director told CNN the last-minute divergence in travel to Andrews was due to Mrs. Trump's schedule. There has been heightened focus on the state of the Trumps' marriage as headlines about McDougal and porn star Stormy Daniels have plagued the White House since January.
Mrs. Trump has not publicly commented on the topic.
The Trumps are headed to Mar-a-Lago; the President plans to remain for the weekend and the first lady is slated to stay for at least a week while the couple's son has a scheduled spring break vacation from school.