Former first lady Melania Trump has been largely absent from the 2024 campaign and sources close to the Trump campaign acknowledge that even at this point – well into the election year – it is still unknown how she will throw her weight publicly behind her husband’s reelection effort.

“She’ll definitely have a role, but in terms of what that is, I don’t know,” a source close to the Trump campaign said. “It is her decision on how much or how little she will be campaigning.”

Numerous sources, both within and close to the campaign, told CNN that, as of now, there is no indication of Melania Trump having a ramped-up role anytime soon, while also cautioning that at any point she could make the decision to hit the trail of her own accord.

“She is very selective and methodical in what she wants to do and how she presents herself,” a source close to former President Donald Trump said. “She is very decisive with these things and knows they have a lot of intended and unintended consequences.”

Even her role at one of the most high-profile stages of the campaign, the Republican National Convention – where her husband will formally become the Republican nominee – hasn’t quite been nailed down. The source close to the former president said the campaign has just started engaging with convention officials last week. They assume Melania Trump will have some role – yet it has not been set.

But even seven months from the election, she’s been noticeably missing. It was her absence on Super Tuesday – one of her husband’s biggest nights so far of his campaign – that raised eyebrows earlier this month. She didn’t appear at the campaign’s victory event at the couple’s Mar-a-Largo resort.

“This was an amazing night, an amazing day – it’s been an incredible period of time in our country’s history,” Donald Trump said during his speech that night, later thanking his family. Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump and Tiffany Trump were there.

Melania Trump has made only two formal public appearances for her husband’s reelection bid – the kickoff of his campaign in November 2022 and just last week, when she appeared with him to vote in the Florida presidential primary.

Afterwards, while standing next to him speaking to reporters, the former first lady was asked when she is going to return to the campaign trail with her husband.

“Stay tuned,” she said with a smile.

Donald Trump has teased before that there is some allure in the intrigue over her whereabouts on the trail.

“I think part of the beauty is that mystery,” he told Megyn Kelly on her podcast last year. “She’s introspective and she’s confident, she doesn’t need to be interviewed by you to get ripped apart for no reason. She doesn’t need to be out there. She’s got confidence, she has a lot of self-confidence.”

Occasionally, Melania Trump will pop up on social media accounts, giving small glimpses of her by her husband’s side at events that were not made public.

This week she sat beside him at a golf event at Mar-a-Largo when he was presented with trophies by golfer Jack Nicklaus. Earlier this month, she was seen at Mar-a-Lago at a dinner after her husband’s meeting with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban.

Sources emphasized to CNN that Melania Trump has been mourning the death of her mother, who died in early January, is supporting her father after the loss, and is focused on her son Barron, who just turned 18 this month and will be preparing for college in the fall.

But sources also underscored that she is intentional with choosing her appearances and that she dictates her level of involvement – not Donald Trump or anyone on the campaign.

That has been laid bare in her public appearances.

In December, she spoke at a naturalization event at the National Archives in Washington, DC, where she shared her experience becoming a US citizen.

“My personal experience of traversing the challenges of the immigration process opened my eyes to the harsh realities people face, including you who try to become US citizens,” she said during a rare speech. The appearance was notable, both because of her husband’s hardline immigration policies and because it came nearly two years after the National Archives asked the Justice Department to investigate his handling of White House records.

And in November of last year, she was seen with the other former first ladies attending the funeral of Rosalynn Carter.

Neither appearance involved Donald Trump.

“Melania has said, ‘I don’t need to stand by Donald like Jill Biden; it is like she’s holding Joe Biden up,’” Stephanie Grisham, Melania Trump’s former chief of staff, told CNN. “She is very much not going to do the Hillary Clinton ‘stand by your man’ thing.”

Her absence has already been campaign trail fodder, with her face on flyers that said “MISSING” and “HAVE YOU SEEN THIS WOMAN” appearing outside some campaign events leading up to the Iowa caucuses.

That absence has only been heightened by her husband, who has been promising she’ll be on the campaign trail soon.

“She loves our country very much,” Donald Trump told NBC’s Kristen Welker in an interview in September. “At the appropriate time, she’ll be out there.”

(Copyright (c) 2024 CNN. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

Join our Newsletter for the latest news right to your inbox