Akie Abe, wife of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, was spotted touring some Washington D.C. famous points of interest with an entourage of aids. Usually, it's the First Lady that would traditionally host her and guide her around the town. Mrs. Trump was nowhere to be found.
President Donald Trump and his family has broken with a lot of tradition since entering the White House, and it doesn't look like that's going to change. One particular break with tradition is that the first lady hasn't yet moved into the White House, and has no plans to do so anytime soon.
Melania Trump announced before the inauguration that when President Trump moved into the White House, she would remain with their son, Barron, at their Park Avenue penthouse. Mrs. Trump plans to remain there at least until Barron finishes out the school year.
When the media suggested that Ivanka Trump, the First Daughter, would be a surrogate First Lady, Mrs. Trump's camp shut that discussion down by saying it wasn't true. At least that's half right — Ivanka has not been taking on the First Lady duties, but then neither has Melania.
In 2007, Laura Bush accompanied Abe on a trip to Mount Vernon. In 2015, Michelle Obama took Abe to visit Great Falls Elementary school in Virginia. But now, in 2017, with Mrs. Trump in New York, Abe was on her own when she visited Gallaudet University and the National Cherry Blossom Festival committee meeting at the Japanese embassy.
A spokesperson for Mrs. Trump says the she didn't ditch her hostess duties. "The First Lady was very much looking forward to welcoming Mrs. Abe to the White House upon her arrival in Washington; however, she was informed that Mrs. Abe had previous commitments during her stay in DC," said a statement.
"The first lady flew to (Andrews Air Force Base) to meet the President, Prime Minister Abe and Mrs. Abe to be able to fly with them on Air Force One as it was Mrs. Abe's first opportunity to spend time with the first lady. They will all be together for the weekend at Mar-a-Lago and have a full itinerary. Mrs. Trump is delighted to be able to welcome the Prime Minister and Mrs. Abe to the first family's winter home, which is a very special place to her and to the entire Trump family," the statement explained.