Shortly before 2 p.m., a handful of assembled press caught their first glimpse of Melania Trump in almost 27 days, as the first couple walked from the Oval Office toward their assembled motorcade, parked along the White House driveway.
President Donald Trump and the first lady headed to the Federal Emergency Management Agency headquarters in Washington for a briefing to discuss preparedness ahead of the 2018 hurricane season, which officially began on June 1.
Wearing a tan trench coat, belted at the waist, Melania Trump looked like she always had, at least prior to her May 14 kidney procedure, which kept her out of the public eye for more than three weeks. She was, as always, steady on her 4 3/4" high heels.
While at FEMA, she sat with the President at the head of a large conference table.
Trump recognized the first lady in his opening remarks at the event, after tweeting about her scheduled appearance before the press earlier that day.
"Of course, we have to start with our great first lady, Melania. Thank you, Melania. She's doing great," Trump said. "We're very proud of her, she's done a fantastic job as first lady. People love you. The people of our country love you."
"She went through a little rough patch but she's doing great," he said.
Melania Trump's appearance before press cameras Wednesday afternoon was her first time doing so since May 10 -- and in a Wednesday morning tweet, the President made the point that she's "doing really well."
"The Fake News Media has been so unfair, and vicious, to my wife and our great First Lady, Melania. During her recovery from surgery they reported everything from near death, to facelift, to left the W.H. (and me) for N.Y. or Virginia, to abuse. All Fake, she is doing really well!" Trump tweeted before the appearance Wednesday.
Earlier this week, the first lady attended a Monday event at the White House with the President, honoring more than 40 Gold Star families. It was her public debut since having a medical procedure for a benign kidney condition on May 14. The Monday event was closed to the press, however.
The first lady tweeted support of Gold Star families following the reception, and included three images from the occasion, two with her seated in the front row.
"Tonight @POTUS & I were honored to pay tribute to our fallen heroes. Thank you to the Gold Star families that joined us in celebration & remembrance," she said.