President-elect Donald Trump and his wife, Melania, have been welcomed at the White House by President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama. But unlike her predecessors, Melania is not moving in. So where is Melania Trump going after the inauguration? She and her son, Barron, will be returning to Trump Tower in New York City, according to TMZ. Sources told the outlet that Melania plans to stay at the White House for two days before returning home to care for 10-year-old Barron as he completes the school year at the Upper West Side's Columbia Grammar and Preparatory School. Vanity Fair has reported that the cost of sending a Secret Service team to New York to protect Melania and Barron will cost taxpayers an additional $1 million per day.
The New York Post first reported the plan for the Trumps' living arrangements in late November, when a source disclosed, "the campaign has been difficult for Barron, and she is really hoping to keep disruption to a minimum." The president-elect confirmed the story the following day at a photo op at his Bedminster Golf Club, telling reporters that his wife and son would move to Washington "very soon. Right after he finishes school," according to CNN.
USA Today reported that Barron was notably absent from many of the pre-inauguration festivities, including the wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery and the "Make America Great Again" concert at the Lincoln Memorial, both held on Thursday. Barron was in Washington; just not at the events. However, some of his nieces and nephews were in attendance. He was also missing for a time on Friday morning, but later resurfaced at the White House. It seems as though, as much as his father adores the spot light, Barron is keeping clear of it.
Melania's choice not to move into the White House isn't technically unprecedented, since the official White House site noted that Anna Harrison, wife of William Henry Harrison, didn't live there, either, but the circumstances were a bit different. When her husband first took office in 1841, the 65-year-old was too ill to make the treacherous steamboat and train journey to Washington, and she planned to join him in the spring. However, Harrison died just a month after taking office, while Anna was literally packing her bags. Like Anna, Melania does plan to move into the White House eventually, and a source told the Post that she's "fully on board of doing everything that’s needed as first lady."