The Unsolvable Mysteries of Donald and Melania’s Marriage

“He reserves fear for one person, Melania Trump.” That’s what Kellyanne Conway said about Donald Trump in her testimony before a congressional committee in 2022. But is that really true? Looking at the Trumps, I can’t tell. But then we don’t get to look at them all that much — not the two of them together. Melania is often off on her own.

“At the end of the day, she could probably make or break him.” That’s what Stephanie Grisham, Donald Trump’s former press secretary, said about Melania to Katie Rogers of The Times this week. But is that because Melania has command of his heart or of his secrets? It’s a mystery, like so much about their marriage and about the former first lady herself.

Melania was tugged back into the news this week as her husband went on trial in Manhattan on charges stemming from his supposed dalliance with the porn star Stormy Daniels. Journalists wanted to know what Melania Trump was thinking. The judge presiding over the trial said that she could theoretically be called to testify.

And Donald Trump fumed to reporters that the trial might prevent him from joining Melania at the high school graduation of their son, Barron, on May 17.

“I was looking forward to that graduation with his mother and father,” Trump said, making a Gotrocks family sound like a Rockwell one. Who knows? Maybe they have cozy moments of closeness invisible to us. Maybe he’s just seizing another opportunity to play the martyr. In this case, the truth really is opaque.

All these years and tweets and town halls and tirades since he came down that infernal escalator, there’s still stuff that we don’t know about a man who is, paradoxically, perhaps the greatest exhibitionist ever to reach the pinnacle of American politics. He over-shares his every absurd irritation and eccentric rumination. He is forever beseeching us to look at him, look at him, look at him.

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