Melania Trump returned to the White House on Thursday to stand by her husband after earlier defending his astonishing personal attack on MSNBC host Mika Brzezinski.
The First Lady joined her husband in welcoming South Korean President Moon Jae-in and his wife to Washington DC.
She had been in New York City earlier in the week but returned to her new home as her husband was engulfed in criticism over his comments towards Brzezinski.
In a flurry of tweets, the president called the Morning Joe host ‘crazy’ and ‘low IQ’ and said cruelly that she was ‘bleeding from from the face’ after undergoing a ‘face lift’ when he spent time with her and her fiance co-host Joe Scarborough at Mar-a-Lago over New Year.
Melania Trump returned to Washington DC from New York on Thursday to stand by her husband as he met with South Korean president Moon Jae-in
The First Lady wore a $2,319 Roland Mouret dress and a pair of $675 Christian Louboutin heels
The comments were widely admonished and deemed a new low for the combative president. They signaled a new level of personal attack in his ongoing war with the media.
Melania, who has previously told of her plan to launch an anti-cyber bullying campaign, stood by her husband’s remarks.
The president sparked controversy earlier in the day with tweets about Morning Joe host Mike Brzezinski
Her spokeswoman, Stephanie Grisham, said in a statement: ‘As the First Lady has stated publicly, when her husband gets attacked, he will punch back 10 times harder.’
Her response was of a similar tone to that taken by Deputy White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders who said earlier in the day that the president was ‘fighting fire with fire’.
Trump said his grievance with the show – which he claimed not to watch – was with that Brzezinski ‘talks bad about him’.
On Thursday night, there was no sign of remorse from either Trump as they waited for Jae-in and his wife on a red carpet outside the White House.
Melania was elegant in a fitted blush cocktail dress and nude patent Christian Louboutin stilettos.
She beamed for the cameras she made her way to the end of a red carpet to wait for the South Korean leader on the South Lawn.
Both the president and the first lady were in high spirits as they waited for their guests on the South Lawn entrance
President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump greet South Korean President Moon Jae-in and his wife Kim Jung-sook
President Jae-in gave an enthusiastic wave to gathered photographers on the South Lawn
The two couples posed for a portrait outside before making their way in to the White House
Melania teamed her fitted cocktail dress with a pair of nude patent Christian Louboutin heels
After posing for some photographs outside, the two couples made their way to the State Dining Room where they were joined by more photographers.
Trump began with a speech praising President Jae-in and revealed they planned to have long talks about how to tackle North Korea.
He said he anticipated the conversation would go ‘late into the evening’.
Praising Jae-in on his recent election victory, Trump said he always had faith he would win.
‘A lot of people didn’t expect that and I did expect it. I thought that was going to happen.’
President Jae-in joked that, like his host, he suffered from ‘fake news coverage’. Trump relished the remark and told gathered journalists he hoped they’d heard it.
Earlier in the day, he met with leaders on Capitol Hill including House Speaker Paul Ryan who welcomed his visit and called for stronger ties between the US and South Korea.
On the hill, Jae-in shared his well wishes for House Majority Whip Steve Scalise who is still recovering after being shot in the hip during an attack on the Republican congressional baseball practice in Alexandria, Virginia, earlier this month.
Of the attack, Jae-in said: ‘We must cross boundaries and all party lines and all come together and unite as one.’
His visit to Washington is significant given the US’s growing animosity towards his neighbor, North Korea.
Once inside, Melania joined her husband and the South Korean president for dinner in the State Dining Room
The president praised Jae-in on his recent election victory and said he planned to have ‘long talks’ with him on how the US and South Korea can work together to tackle the threat of nuclear war from North Korea
Jae-in’s visit to Washington DC will run over two days. He and the president are scheduled to have formal talks on Friday
The two couples were joined by a host of other dignitaries and a pack of media before the state dinner
President Trump has made no secret of his strategy to utilize help from Jae-in and from China’s president to stifle North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and his regime.
Unlike President Trump, who wants to isolate North Korea diplomatically and economically, Jae-in has long advocated for improved communication with the country and its leader.
He believes the answer to dissolving any nuclear threat is by discussing the country’s progress towards it with its dictator Kim Jong Un.
The bubbling tension between the US and North Korea was intensified earlier this month by the death of American student Otto Warmbier.
Otto, 22, was returned to Ohio in a coma after spending 17 months in custody in North Korea on June 13. He had been arrested during a tour of the country in 2016 for allegedly stealing a propaganda poster.
Korean officials say he became vegetative in their care as the result of food poisoning and a sleeping pill.
He died in an Ohio hospital six days after being released on humanitarian grounds. The president was rattled by his death and laid the blame squarely with Kim Jong Un.
The Warmbier family and the 22-year-old’s friends, some of whom were with him when he was unceremoniously arrested in January 2016, are in no doubt that he was tortured to into a coma. North Korea, meanwhile, has been carrying on with its missile test launches.