WASHINGTON (AP) — The US first family is together again under the same roof: the White House.
After nearly five months of living apart, President Donald Trump’s wife, Melania, announced Sunday that she and the couple’s young son have finally moved into the presidential mansion at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
Mother and son broke with tradition by living at Trump Tower in New York since the inauguration so that Barron, now 11, could finish the school year uninterrupted; the president lived and worked at the White House.
“Looking forward to the memories we’ll make in our new home! #Movingday,” the first lady tweeted Sunday evening after she and Barron arrived at the White House with Trump. The tweet accompanied a photo of the Washington Monument as seen from the White House Red Room.
— Melania Trump (@FLOTUS) June 12, 2017
The president spent the weekend at his private golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, and had said on several occasions that his wife and son would move to the White House after the school year. Trump celebrates his 71st birthday on Wednesday and got his gift a few days early.
Mrs. Trump said last month that Barron will attend a private school in Maryland in the fall, an announcement that answered one of the lingering questions surrounding the Trump family’s unusual living arrangement. It also pointed toward a coming move to the White House.
One remaining question had to do with a move-in date, and Mrs. Trump answered it Sunday.
Her spokeswoman, Stephanie Grisham, confirmed the move by email and on Twitter.
“It’s official! @FLOTUS & Barron have made the move to DC! #WelcomeHome,” Grisham tweeted.
Barron will enter the sixth grade at St. Andrew’s Episcopal School in Potomac, Maryland, in the fall. Trump has four older children — Don Jr., Ivanka, Eric and Tiffany — among his two ex-wives. Ivanka Trump has taken a White House job as an adviser to her father.
Melania Trump stayed largely out of sight during her husband’s presidential campaign and was an absent first lady at the outset of the administration, staying in New York and focusing on Barron. But she has slowly been raising her profile at the White House, including joining the president when foreign leaders and their spouses visit, co-hosting the annual Easter Egg Roll and holding some solo events.
She recently accompanied the president on his first foreign trip, a nine-day journey through Saudi Arabia, Israel, Italy and Belgium that marked her first extended turn as first lady in the public spotlight.
Now that’s she’s at the White House full time, pressure will build for her to be seen more and to do more. She said during the campaign that she would work on the issue of cyberbullying as first lady, but she has made no further announcements about the subject.
She also has shown an interest in military veterans and empowering women and girls.
“I do think once she’s in D.C. there’ll be more pressure for her to be working on something that’s her own, that’s helping some segment of the population because that’s what first ladies are supposed to do,” said Jean Harris, professor of political science and women’s studies at the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania.
First ladies are also seen as calming influences on presidents. In the case of President Trump, many will be anxious to see whether Mrs. Trump’s daily presence will have a positive influence on Trump’s behavior and mood, including his often angry tweet storms.
The first lady has said she wishes he would give up tweeting.