President Trump brought down the hammer Wednesday on the “vicious” media coverage of Melania Trump, following days of wild conspiracy theories on the first lady's whereabouts.
“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.
A media frenzy had erupted in recent days over the first lady, with reports suggesting she was “missing in action” following an announcement that she would not join the president at the looming G7 summit in Quebec and that there are “no plans” for her to travel to Singapore for the president's summit with North Korea's Kim Jong Un.
Meanwhile, the first lady re-emerged Wednesday shoulder-to-shoulder with her husband at the head of a conference table at the Federal Emergency Management Agency headquarters in Washington.
"She had a little rough patch, but she's doing great," the president said at the top of a meeting on hurricane readiness. "We're very proud of her, she's done a fantastic job as first lady," he added. "People love you. The people of our country love you. Thank you, honey."
Journalists wondered why the first lady was largely out of the public eye, but the theories took a dark turn in recent days. Trump’s reference to “abuse” comes after Rolling Stone senior writer Jamil Smith suggested on Twitter that the first lady was absent from the public eye due to domestic violence.
“I wish that I didn’t suspect that the prolonged, poorly explained public absence of Melania Trump could be about concealing abuse. I wish that it was a ludicrous prospect. I wish that the @POTUS wasn’t a man with a history of abusing women, including those whom he is married,” Smith tweeted on Sunday.
The Independent floated the idea that Mrs. Trump had received a “facelift.”
Minutes after his first tweet, President Trump added on Wednesday that: “Four reporters spotted Melania in the White House last week walking merrily along to a meeting. They never reported the sighting because it would hurt the sick narrative that she was living in a different part of the world, was really ill, or whatever. Fake News is really bad!”
But despite reports, the first lady attended a White House event honoring Gold Star families on Monday evening. Videos of the first lady at the event were quickly posted on social media, showing the first lady wearing a sleeveless black dress and walking into the East Room accompanied by the president.
The first lady last week tweeted to dispel rumors circulating about her whereabouts.
“I see the media is working overtime speculating where I am & what I’m doing,” the first lady tweeted. “Rest assured, I’m here at the @WhiteHouse w my family, feeling great, & working hard on behalf of children & the American people.”
Last month, the first lady underwent a “successful” embolization procedure to treat a benign kidney condition. She remained at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for about a week to recover.
An embolization procedure is typically performed to cut off blood supply to a tumor, aneurysm or abnormal growth, typically growing in the kidney or liver, to shrink the foreign mass.
Fox News' Brian Flood and The Associated Press contributed to this report.