Politics

Melania Trump Downsizes East Wing From Michelle Obama

| by Sarah Zimmerman

First Lady Melania Trump is expected to move into the White House full-time this summer and will likely have a smaller staff than Former First Lay Michele Obama.

A senior White House official confirmed that Melania and her son, Barron, 11, will move from Trump Tower in New York to the White House. Melania and Barron were living in Manhattan since the inauguration so he could finish the school year.

"Melania Trump bringing and unifying her family under one roof of the White House is a very smart move, and a very traditional move," White House historian Andrew Och told Fox News. "Mrs. Trump said on the campaign trail that she wanted to be a traditional first lady like Michelle Obama or Pat Nixon."

"The fact she was protecting [Barron] before this, by letting him finish out his school year, is not unprecedented. It is just a little bit unusual that they didn't move into the White House immediately after the inauguration."

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Melania has largely been out of the spotlight since her husband's inauguration, but is expected to take on more duties as first lady after her summertime move.

But her role may be downplayed compared to former first ladies. According to Redbook, she currently has a staff of 10, which pales in comparison to Michelle's staff of 24. Melania's current staff, in part, includes: Chief of Staff Lindsay Reynolds, Social Secretary Anna Cristina Niceta Lloyd, and Communications Director Stephanie Grisham.

Other first ladies have had staff sizes ranging from 13 to 22 people. Melania might hire more staff, especially since she will be taking on an increased role as first lady, but some reports suggest that her staff size will remain small. Some predict that President Donald Trump will cut costs to the Office of the First Lady as a way to prevent extraneous spending.

Redbook suggests that, like previous first ladies, she will likely pick a singular issue to focus on throughout her term. Michelle focused on childhood obesity and gender equality through her "Let's Move!" and "Let Girls Learn" campaigns. In a Nov. 3 campaign speech, Melania said that she would plan to address the effects of cyber bullying.

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"We must find better ways to honor and support the basic goodness of our children, especially in social media," she said in her speech, according to Time. "It will be one of the main focuses of my work if I'm privileged enough to become your first lady."

If Melania does choose to focus on cyber bullying, it's unclear whether she will hire more staff as a result.

Sources: Redbook, Time, Fox News / Photo credit: The White House/Flickr

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