Melania Trump Spotted in New York for First Time Since Leaving the White House: 'She Never Liked Press Scrutiny'

Sources tell PEOPLE that Melania and her 15-year-old son, Barron, will spend the summer in both Manhattan and in Bedminster, New Jersey

Melania Trump
Melania Trump. Photo: James Devaney/ GC Images

In one of her first public outings since leaving Washington, D.C. in January, former first lady Melania Trump was photographed arriving to Trump Tower in Manhattan on Tuesday.

It was a rare appearance for the 51-year-old former first lady, who hasn't been photographed publicly outside of Palm Beach — where she and her husband, former President Donald Trump, have been settling down at his members-only Mar-a-Lago Club — since January.

Though Melania was not photographed with her husband when he boarded a plane to Bedminster, New Jersey (home to one of his eponymous golf clubs) in May, sources tell PEOPLE that she and Barron will be dividing their time between the family's Manhattan residence and their Bedminster vacation home for part of the summer.

The former president, 75, currently remains in Bedminster, where he held a press conference to announce lawsuits against several tech companies on Wednesday.

"While Palm Beach is their main residence, the Trumps go back and forth from New York to New Jersey during the summer season," a political source close to former President Trump tells PEOPLE. "Melania and her own family do many things together and not necessarily with Donald."

The source adds that Melania tries to stay in or around the same city as her husband, while still maintaining her own schedule, though she does occasionally travel alone around the U.S. and internationally.

"Donald is fine with that as long as she is satisfied, leaves him alone, and makes appearances when needed," the political source says. "Melania is happiest when she is with her own family members, including her son. She is not dumb, she just knows how to handle her life to make it as fulfilling for her as possible."

Donald Trump
From left: Melania Trump and Donald Trump exit Air Force One at the Palm Beach International Airport on the way to their Mar-a-Lago Club not long before Joe Biden is inaugurated as president on Jan. 20. Noam Galai/Getty

Unlike Donald's previous wife Ivana, who the source notes "loved to work as much as he did," Melania prefers to spend quiet time with her own family.

"Melania grew up differently and wanted to see her parents and sister enjoy much of what the U. S. has to offer," the source says. "Her family did not come from means."

A social source of the family's says that with all of the investigations surrounding the former president, Melania prefers to stay out of the limelight.

"She never liked press scrutiny and hates it more now," the source tells PEOPLE. "She will do whatever she can to avoid being photographed or interviewed. She remains low key, enjoying her life with her family."

Insiders have previously told PEOPLE that Melania spends much of her time while at Mar-a-Lago getting spa treatments and spending time with the couple's 15-year-old son, Barron.

She has also set up an office at the resort, where reports indicate she will maintain her "Be Best" initiative, her signature undertaking during her husband's presidency — focusing (some said hypocritically) on children's welfare issues, such as cyberbullying.

PEOPLE's sources previously said that Melania was seen dining outdoors at Mar-a-Lago in April, where she was joined by her husband, his daughter Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner. The four enjoyed a pre-birthday dinner.

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