Trump Melania greet Netanyahu_00005812.jpg
Trump, first lady greet Netanyahu
01:17 - Source: CNN

Story highlights

Melania Trump greeted Sara Netanyahu Wednesday

She also attended a joint news conference

CNN  — 

Just before noon, first lady Melania Trump emerged from the White House’s South entrance and walked beside her husband, President Donald Trump, to await the arrival of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife, Sara.

While the setup – a President and first lady greeting a national leader – has been witnessed hundreds of times throughout history, Wednesday marked a first for Melania Trump officially hosting at the White House.

The fashion-conscious first lady sported a custom-made Karl Lagerfeld white suit jacket and matching pencil skirt, according to Women’s Wear Daily.

She has interacted with Sara Netanyahu before, as recently as November, when the Prime Minister posted on his Facebook page details of a call between his wife and the then-first lady-elect.

Wednesday’s appearance by Melania Trump, and her attendance in the front row of the joint news conference in the East Room between the two leaders, is further evidence of the first lady’s Washington coming out.

US First Lady Melania Trump and Akie Abe, wife of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, tour Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens in Delray Beach, Florida, on February 11, 2017. /
First Lady and Akie Abe visit Morikami garden
01:07 - Source: CNN

Although she primarily maintains residence in the Trump’s gilded Manhattan penthouse – and will do so until 10-year-old Barron completes the school year in New York City – her presence Wednesday is evidence she might indeed take a more active role in official duties.

Following the news conference, she hosted Sara Netanyahu on a visit to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture.

“As we remember, with deep humility and reverence, the historic plight of slavery which the Jewish and African-American people have known all too well, we rededicate ourselves to those powerful words that both our nations hold dear: “NEVER AGAIN!” Melania Trump said in a statement to CNN.

The stop at the museum was reminiscent of this past weekend in Palm Beach, where the first lady spent time with Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s wife, Akie Abe, showing her around nearby gardens, and sitting beside her at two Mar-a-Lago dinners.

But the so-called Winter White House isn’t the Washington White House, where the first lady’s headquarters, and staff, have traditionally operated. Melania Trump is slowly bringing on a team there, recently announcing the hires of chief of staff Lindsay Reynolds, and social secretary Rickie Niceta Lloyd, and continuing under the guidance of her chief adviser, Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, who was also present at the news conference.

Further evidence of the burgeoning FLOTUS operation was a statement released by the first lady announcing the reopening of the White House Visitors Office and the resumption of public tours on March 7.

Later in the evening on Wednesday, the first lady will have another opportunity to showcase her hostess skills: She and the President will dine in the White House Blue Room with Sen. Marco Rubio and his wife, Jeanette.