She reportedly hated being in the public eye and "has made it clear that she isn't interested in doing it again."
Will he run or will he not? That's been the gameplay Donald Trump has adopted since he left Washington in January this year. The idea of him running for another term in the White House has been teased several times over the past few months. And if Trump actually runs for office in 2024, the one person who perhaps might be most unhappy about it is his wife, Melania Trump.
For most people, being the first lady is considered a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and has great potential for change and advocacy. But for Melania, it seemed like four years of grudgingly giving up bits of her privacy. Sources now say that she will most certainly not want to do it all over again. "Being first lady again is not what she wants," a source that was close to her in the White House told CNN. "For her, it was a chapter -- and it's over, and that's that."
As Donald Trump continues to make noise about a possible 2024 White House run, former first lady Melania Trump has been seen just once publicly this summerhttps://t.co/JkJvA4LNjg— CNN (@CNN) September 5, 2021
Melania's privacy is reportedly one of the things she values the most. And that was also something she had to sacrifice after taking on the role of the country's first lady.
"Melania does not like being in the public eye and has made it clear that she isn't interested in doing it again," a political source previously told PEOPLE. "She likes family and her private life. The media glare is not for her."
During the Trump term at the White House, Melania was constantly scrutinized and made headlines for a number of colorful reasons. Reports also said that she was not a fan of carrying out her first lady duties and was once heard saying in a leaked video: "Who gives a f--- about the Christmas stuff and decorations? But I need to do it, right?"
To be honest I’m having trouble picking my favorite part of that Melania recording.— Zack Hunt (@ZaackHunt) October 2, 2020
It’s either “Who gives a [email protected]&! about Christmas stuff?” or “They said “what about the children that were separated?” Give me a [email protected]&!ing break.” pic.twitter.com/aRVOEpV5ff
In January, when it was time for them to leave the White House, Melania was more than glad to see the curtains fall on the Trump era. "She was relieved when her husband's term ended," a political source recently said.
"Nothing has been decided about whether President Trump will run in the next election," the source added. "At this point it is all speculation."
Nevertheless, this will-he-or-will-he-not speculation is also apparently good for Trump, as the source mentioned, "The constant chatter about it gives him the opportunity to raise money, which he is very good at doing."
If Trump eventually does dive into campaigning, sources say that he won't have Melania beside him when he addresses massive crowds. Moreover, this is apparently what his fans and GOP-supporters are used to. Sources believe that Trump supporters adore Melania but also appreciate how she's mostly missing from nearly everything.
"The Trump voter puts (Melania Trump) on a pedestal," a political operative, who worked on Trump's team before, told CNN. "They're awed by the way she looks or the way she basically doesn't express ideas or opinions, which they see as stoicism and loyalty. For them, that's enough for fealty."
Currently, Melania is leading a private life at their Mar-a-Lago residence and loves how starkly different it is from life at the White House. "That's how she likes it. The more she can be private and not in the public eye, the better," said a source that's known Melania socially for over 10 years. "And there's nothing wrong with that. I mean, if every single person in the world watched your every move for four or five years, and that wasn't comfortable for you -- just imagine how triggering that must have been."
There's plenty of time left for Trump to continue teasing the idea of running for president again, but one thing several sources are sure of is that Melania would want nothing to do with it.
"If he runs, I doubt she will be involved at all," a social source told PEOPLE. "If he should win, that would be the worst-case scenario for her. Things will need to be evaluated at such a time."
Cover image source: Getty Images | Photo by Olivier Douliery-Pool