WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump said his wife, Melania, had a "big operation" to treat a kidney condition that lasted close to four hours, but that the first lady is "doing great" although she did not accompany him to Canada on Friday, per her doctors' orders.
Trump told reporters as he left the White House on Friday for the G-7 meeting in Quebec that Mrs. Trump wanted to join him at an annual summit of leading industrialized nations, as she did last year, but that she "can't fly for one month."
"First lady's great. Right there," Trump said, pointing up to the White House from the driveway. "And she wanted to go. Can't fly for one month. The doctors say. She had a big operation. That was a close to a four-hour operation. And she's doing great. Right there."
Trump added: "And you know what? She is a great first lady."
Trump's comments only added to the mystery surrounding his wife's recent hospitalization and nearly four-week absence from the public eye.
The first lady's office announced May 14 that she had had an embolization procedure to treat a kidney condition described as benign. She spent five nights in a military hospital before returning to the White House on May 19 to continue her recuperation.
Her office has declined to provide additional details about Mrs. Trump's condition, citing privacy rights.
Mrs. Trump's absence, beginning soon after she announced her initiative to teach kindness to children, sparked all sorts of theories about where she was and what might have happened to her, including that she had moved back to the family's penthouse at Trump Tower in New York.
She ended the speculation this week by making her first public appearance in nearly a month, accompanying Trump to a hurricane preparedness briefing at Federal Emergency Management Agency headquarters in Washington on Wednesday.