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Melania Trump's birthday photo raises eyebrows

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Melania Trump's birthday photo raises eyebrows
A bilateral meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis held in March 2019. -
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U.S. Embassy in the Czech Republic
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A photo tweeted by the White House on First Lady Melania Trump's birthday has raised many an eyebrow on social media.

The tweet has generated more than 8,000 comments, simply says "Happy Birthday, @FLOTUS!" and is accompanied by a photo of Mrs Trump sitting alone on the far end of a couch and staring into the distance, surrounded by an army of photographers and reporters in the Oval Office. Mrs Trump turned 49 on Friday.

The photo has spawned numerous memes but also questions from some Twitter users about why the White House chose to share a photo in which the first lady looks "all alone" on her birthday.

"Where are her child and husband?" one tweet said in response to the photo.

"I don't understand why the White House would post such a sad, lonely photo of Melania for her birthday," another Twitter user said. "Regardless what I think of her and her family, this is just weird."

The photo appears to have been taken during Donald's Trump meeting with Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš in Washington last month.

In the picture, members of the media appear to be focusing on Trump and the Czech PM and not on the first lady.

U.S. Embassy in the Czech Republic
A bilateral meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis held in March 2019.U.S. Embassy in the Czech Republic

Meanwhile, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders shared a smiling photo of the first lady, wishing her a happy birthday and calling her "a great representative for our country".

Mrs Trump has been spearheading a campaign against online bullying in her time as the first lady.

She got to spend her birthday having a private dinner in the White House with her husband and Japan's first couple, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his wife Akie, who are currently on a visit to the United States.

Last year saw no shortage of controversy for Mrs Trump.

In June, she caused a commotion when she wore a jacket with the phrase "I REALLY DON'T CARE, DO U?" scrawled across the back in white graffiti-styled text on her way to visit migrant children housed in a Texas shelter.

In an interview in October, Mrs Trump claimed she was the "most bullied person in the world."

She also said her husband's alleged affairs were not her "concern and focus."

"I'm a mother and a first lady, and I have much more important things to think about and to do," she said at the time.

In December, the first lady said the most difficult part of her time in the White House has been watching "opportunists" use her family's name to advance their careers.