Since her husband’s inauguration in January, first lady Melania Trump has mostly stayed out of the spotlight. However, she has been more engaged than usual during last weekend’s Group of 20 summit in Hamburg, Germany, particularly with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
A photo taken during a banquet on Friday night shows Mrs. Trump seated next to and speaking with Putin. The Independent has suggested that the first lady was seated next to the Russian president because they both speak German.
Their shared language explains why Trump and Putin were seated next to each other, but there is another element of the photo that has raised questions. The photo also shows a man standing behind them and taking notes. Since there was no language barrier, it’s unlikely that the man hovering behind them is a translator.
Mrs. Trump and Putin could have been talking about anything during Friday night’s banquet, including the fact that the first lady met him for the first time earlier that day when she was sent by U.S. officials to try and end a meeting between Putin and her husband. President Trump and Putin met for the first time on Friday in a meeting that was supposed to only last 35 minutes.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson later told reporters after the meeting that Mrs. Trump “failed” to wrap up the meeting.
‘We went another hour after she came to see us, so clearly she failed.’
Putin and Mrs. Trump could also have been discussing the fact that, earlier that day, the first lady was unable to participate in a tour of the city with the spouses of the other world leaders attending the summit. Melania ended up “trapped” in her hotel on Friday morning after anti-capitalist protests throughout the city turned violent.
Featured image via Friedemann Vogel – Pool/Getty Images.