As violent pro-Donald Trump insurrectionists stormed Capitol Hill, breaking down windows and doors, and disrupting the US electoral process in what has been described by some as an attempted coup, the President's wife was reportedly conducting a photo shoot.
CNN reports that professional lighting commonly used for photography and videography could be seen on Thursday (NZT) in the White House. A source of the US media outlet says photos were being taken of rugs and other items found in the Executive Resident and East Wing.
It's said that First Lady Melania Trump was overseeing the project and the photos could be for a coffee-table book about White House decorative objects that it's previously been reported the former model wants to write.
Where Melania has been in recent days has caused much speculation. The First Lady hasn't been heard from since New Year's Day and hasn't commented on the Capitol riots.
At least five people - including an insurrectionist and a police officer - died during the siege, which came after the President held a rally and told supporters to march on Capitol Hill as it tried to count electoral college votes. Trump has repeatedly made baseless claims about electoral fraud and, until recently, refused to publicly accept he lost the November election and wouldn't be the US President past January 20.
CNN says a source claims Melania has "checked out" with only 12 days left in the job. She reportedly isn't in the right place "mentally or emotionally" to get involved.
The President finally promised an orderly transition of power this week but won't be attending incoming President Joe Biden's inauguration. He announced that on Saturday on Twitter, just hours before the social media network permanently suspended his account out of concern he could again incite violence ahead of the inauguration.
Following the riot on Thursday, Melania's chief of staff - and former Trump press sec - stood down from her role, with that day's violence prompting the resignation.
CNN reports that Donald and Melania remain close, with the First Lady speaking to the President throughout the day and sharing her thoughts on issues. But it was reportedly Ivanka Trump - who shared and then deleted a tweet on Thursday calling the rioters "American Patriots" - who urged her father to call for calm during the Capitol Hill siege.