Trump's post-arraignment speech includes family love, but no mention of his wife Melania sparks rumours

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Former U.S. President Donald Trump and former first lady Melania Trump arrive for an event at his Mar-a-Lago home on November 15, 2022 in Palm Beach, Florida. Trump announced that he was seeking another term in office and officially launched his 2024 presidential campaign.  (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)Former U.S. President Donald Trump and former first lady Melania Trump arrive for an event at his Mar-a-Lago home on November 15, 2022 in Palm Beach, Florida. Trump announced that he was seeking another term in office and officially launched his 2024 presidential campaign.  (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Former U.S. President Donald Trump and former first lady Melania Trump arrive for an event at his Mar-a-Lago home on November 15, 2022 in Palm Beach, Florida. Trump announced that he was seeking another term in office and officially launched his 2024 presidential campaign. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images) | Getty Images
2021 separation rumours are once again in the spotlight as Donald Trump thanks everyone but Melania in post-arraignment speech.

Could there be trouble in paradise, or Mar-a-Lago in this instance, for former President of the United States Donald Trump and his current partner, Melania Trump (nee: Knauss)? Trump is already in the doghouse with the court of law after his arrest for 34 felony counts of falsifying business records, following an investigation into an alleged hush money payment he made to adult film star Stormy Daniels while he was a presidential candidate in 2016

But if his speech after the arraignment is any indication, things perhaps aren’t rosy between the former First Lady and himself. This speculation has mounted as Trump, in a speech from his Florida residence, thanked his entire family for their support during this troubling time (“such a troubling time, no troubling times have been so troubling…”) - however there was one omission from his thank you list, that being Melania. 

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In his full, rallying cry to the remaining Trump supporters left, he acknowledged his family members; "I have a son here who's done a great job and I have another son here who's done a great job, and Tiffany, and Ivanka, and Baron will be great someday. He's tall and smart. But I have a great family and they've done a fantastic job and we appreciate it very much." No mention however of Baron’s mother, Melania.

It wasn’t the only time Melania was conspicuous in her absence since Trump’s arrest; she was not by his side during his arraignment hearing earlier this week. Though that might have been to prevent a media zoo occuring outside the court, it is interesting that her absence at the arraignment and potential ‘snub’ during his speech have happened to close together.

Is Melania now distancing herself from Trump to save face somewhat? The former First Lady’s popularity sank when she took up the position after Trump’s election in 2016, with many commentators at the time speculating it was a role she wasn’t enamoured to take up. Fittingly then, her final approval rating after leaving office was the lowest a First Lady had ever had, with 47% disapproving of her overall work in that position. Not that she seemed concerned, given the grimaces throughout her public appearances with the then POTUS.

It is unfair though to paint Trump as not a family man, despite his numerous other transgressions throughout his life and subsequent rise to one of the biggest political appointments in all the land. But did his relationships with three other notable Trump wives become as frosty as to actively snub them in public declarations of appreciation? Or was Trump just having a brain fog moment and forgot he had a wife? 

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Ivana Trump

Donald Trump and his wife Ivana arrive 04 December 1989 at a social engagement in New York.  (Photo credit should read SWERZEY/AFP via Getty Images)Donald Trump and his wife Ivana arrive 04 December 1989 at a social engagement in New York.  (Photo credit should read SWERZEY/AFP via Getty Images)
Donald Trump and his wife Ivana arrive 04 December 1989 at a social engagement in New York. (Photo credit should read SWERZEY/AFP via Getty Images) | AFP via Getty Images

Donnie’s first high-profile relationship was during a time the entrepreneur was making a name for himself through his property development portfolio - with Trump Tower the jewel in the middle of the real estate crown. 

He met Ivana Trump at a New York fashion show in 1977, with the pair shortly marrying in a lavish ceremony. They had three children together: Donald Jr., Ivanka, and Eric Trump, and Ivana was a prominent figure in the Trump Organization and helped her husband with the management of his real estate empire.

However, their marriage was not without its problems, and the couple divorced in 1992 after a highly publicised affair between Donald Trump and actress Marla Maples. The divorce was a messy affair, and Ivana received a settlement of $14 million, along with an apartment in Trump Plaza, a mansion in Greenwich, Connecticut, and a country estate in upstate New York.

Despite the bitter divorce, Donald and Ivana have since reconciled and have a cordial relationship. Ivana has spoken positively about her ex-husband on several occasions and even endorsed his 2016 presidential campaign. Ivana died in 2022, with Trump National Golf Club her final resting place.

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Marla Maples

Trump’s second high-profile relationship after his divorce from Ivana was to the very person who he was caught cheating with - actress Marla Maples, who she started dating in 1989 while he was still married to Ivana Trump. Their relationship was the subject of intense media scrutiny, and Maples became a regular fixture in the tabloids. In 1993, the couple had a daughter named Tiffany Trump, and they were married later that year in a lavish ceremony at the Plaza Hotel in New York City. 

Donald Trump dips his new bride Marla Maples after couple married in a private ceremony at the Plaza Hotel, in New York, 20 December 1993, following a six-year courtship. Billionaire Donald Trump, who was born in 1946, Queens, New York, has gained notability for his celebrity lifestyle. He was previously married to Ivana Trump between 1977 and 1992. (Photo by BOB STRONG / AFP) (Photo by BOB STRONG/AFP via Getty Images)Donald Trump dips his new bride Marla Maples after couple married in a private ceremony at the Plaza Hotel, in New York, 20 December 1993, following a six-year courtship. Billionaire Donald Trump, who was born in 1946, Queens, New York, has gained notability for his celebrity lifestyle. He was previously married to Ivana Trump between 1977 and 1992. (Photo by BOB STRONG / AFP) (Photo by BOB STRONG/AFP via Getty Images)
Donald Trump dips his new bride Marla Maples after couple married in a private ceremony at the Plaza Hotel, in New York, 20 December 1993, following a six-year courtship. Billionaire Donald Trump, who was born in 1946, Queens, New York, has gained notability for his celebrity lifestyle. He was previously married to Ivana Trump between 1977 and 1992. (Photo by BOB STRONG / AFP) (Photo by BOB STRONG/AFP via Getty Images) | AFP via Getty Images

However, their marriage was short-lived, and they divorced in 1999. The divorce was again a tabloid dream, with Maples receiving a reported settlement of $2 million and custody of their daughter Tiffany.

Despite their divorce, Maples has spoken positively about Trump on several occasions and has said that they have a good relationship as co-parents. Trump has also spoken positively about Maples, calling her a "great girl" in a 2015 interview with the New York Times. 

As for Tiffany, despite being a regular on The Apprentice, she decided to stay away from the glaring eye of the public after her father went into office after the 2016 presidential election. She, however, is commended for her commitment to her philanthropic efforts, having supported several charitable organisations, including St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and the Boys & Girls Clubs of America.

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Melania Trump

Donald Trump and Melania Knauss at the Aida opening in New York City, NY on March 23, 2000  Photo by Scott Gries/Getty ImagesDonald Trump and Melania Knauss at the Aida opening in New York City, NY on March 23, 2000  Photo by Scott Gries/Getty Images
Donald Trump and Melania Knauss at the Aida opening in New York City, NY on March 23, 2000 Photo by Scott Gries/Getty Images | Getty Images

Another ‘chance encounter’ at a New York fashion show, Trump first met Melania Knauss in 1998 and began dating in 2000. The pair wed at Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida, in January 2005. Melania became the First Lady of the United States when her husband was elected president in 2016.

Throughout her husband's presidency, Melania was known for her private nature and her focus on her role as a mother to the couple's son, Barron Trump. She also launched the "Be Best" initiative, which focused on issues affecting children, including cyberbullying and opioid abuse.

As with his other two wives, Melania and Donald Trump's relationship has also been the subject of media scrutiny, particularly after allegations of infidelity against Donald Trump surfaced during the 2016 presidential campaign, which has led to his 2023 arrest (thanks to a certain adult film star.) 

Melania has publicly defended her husband against these allegations, and they have remained married despite the controversies. However, in January 2021, the couple left the White House and there have been rumours of marital strain and that they may live separate lives - and perhaps the snub during the speech is the smoking gun that might finally demonstrate that all is not well at Mar-a-Lago between the two.

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