Melania Trump warned Donald Trump he could lose the election after the ‘Access Hollywood’ tape came to light in the 2016 presidential campaign, telling him ‘you could have blown this for us.’
Donald Trump so dreaded facing his wife in October 2016, after his ‘grab ’em by the p***y’ comment came to light, that it took him two hours to leave his campaign headquarters to go home to her.
Melania’s reaction to the interview is chronicled in the ‘The Art of Her Deal: The Untold Story of Melania Trump,’ a new biography of Melania Trump by Washington Post reporter Mary Jordan.
The book is out Tuesday and CBSNews.com ran an excerpt focusing on the ‘Access Hollywood’ interview.
Melania Trump’s office has blasted the new biography as ‘fiction.’
‘Yet another book about Mrs. Trump with false information and sources. This book belongs in the fiction genre,’ Stephanie Grisham, the first lady’s chief of staff, said in a statement to DailyMail.com last week.
New Melania Trump bio chronicles her private reaction to the ‘Access Hollywood’ tape that came out during the campaign; she told her husband ‘you could have blown this for us.’ Above, Melania wore a ‘pussybow’ blouse to the October 9, 2016 presidential debate – the first debate after the tape came to light
In October 2016, the Washington Post revealed a September 2005 interview Trump gave to ‘Access Hollywood’ host Billy Bush, where he was caught on a hot mic saying of women: ‘Grab ’em by the p***y. You can do anything’
Melania Trump shakes hands with Bill Clinton at the October 9, 2016 presidential debate
In the interview, Trump is caught on a hot mic saying of women: ‘You know, I’m automatically attracted to beautiful – I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything,’ adding that he could ‘Grab ’em by the p***y. You can do anything.’
When the Washington Post released the video, a person in the room told author Mary Jordan that Trump turned red after watching it with his campaign staff at their headquarters in Trump Tower in New York City. But his true concern seemed about Melania.
‘She was the elephant not in the room,’ former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who was a campaign adviser, told the author.
‘Everybody was saying, ‘You should go upstairs and see Melania. Why don’t you go upstairs now and see Melania?’ And he was not rushing to go up there,’ Christie said. ‘I said to him, ‘It ain’t going to get any easier. The longer you wait, it’s not going to get any easier.”
As for Melania’s reaction, she told Trump: ‘Now you could lose,’ adding ‘You could have blown this for us.’
Trump apologized to her, telling her he didn’t mean it and that the words were ‘just his shtick.’
But Bob Woodward’s ‘Fear’ also detailed some of Melania’s reaction to the tape, which resulted in several prominent Republican to withdraw their endorsement of Trump and even led to call for him to drop out of the race.
The campaign pressured Melania to be seen in public with her husband immediately. Advisers also wanted her to do a sit-down TV interview with him, to which Melania responded: ‘No.’
Instead Melania huddled with Kellyanne Conway and others to craft her own statement to respond to the tape, the CBSNews excerpt revealed.
Trump merely asked to read Melania’s statement before she released it. It said: ‘The words my husband used are unacceptable and offensive to me. This does not represent the man that I know. He has the heart and mind of a leader. I hope people will accept his apology, as I have, and focus on the important issues facing our nation and the world.’
His reaction: ‘This could have been a lot worse’ and he later tweeted: ‘I WILL NEVER DROP OUT OF THE RACE.’
Melania Trump was a rare presence on the campaign trail in the 2016 race but she did sit down with CNN’s Anderson Cooper to talk about the tape.
But what is most remembered about her reaction is the $1,100 bright fuschia ‘pussybow’ blouse she wore to the October 9 presidential debate – the first one after the tape came out.
Trump also invited three women who had previously accused Bill Clinton of sexual misconduct to the debate. When Melania arrived, she shook Bill Clinton’s hand and took her seat – she didn’t speak but her outfit spoke volumes.
Melania Trump was a rare presence on the campaign trail in 2016 but is seen at a November 3, 2016 event in Pennsylvania
Melania Trump did not speak at the October 2016 debate but her $1,100 bright fuschia ‘pussybow’ blouse spoke volumes
Trump invited three women who accused Bill Clinton of sexual assault to the debate: (from left to right) Kathleen Willey, Juanita Broaddrick, and Kathy Shelton sat with Lara Trump, Vanessa Trump and Tiffany Trump
The 286-page biography examines the life of the first lady, from her childhood in Slovenia to her modeling career to her journey to the White House. It also reveals a different side of Melania, digging into who the famously private first lady is, plus offering new details on her relationship with her husband and her step children.
‘She understands that she’s married to a very big personality, and someone who is impulsive at times – in his personal life as well as in his policies, and she gets that,’ said someone who has known the couple for years to the author.
The person noted Melania is willing to overlook a lot Trump’s behavior because she enjoys ‘being where the action is.’
‘Melania is so underestimated,’ the person said.
In addition to offering new details on her relationship with her husband, the book offers new details on Melania’s relationship with her stepdaughter Ivanka Trump.
‘Melania has been overheard referring to Ivanka as ‘The Princess,’ Jordan writes. Ivanka, when younger, called Melania ‘The Portrait’ because she spoke as often as one,’ The New York Times noted in its review of the book, which is out Tuesday.
The White House denied the story.
‘These allegations couldn’t be further from the truth and had the Washington Post or the publishers of this book fact-checked this with Ivanka’s office, they would know that,’ deputy press secretary Judd Deere said in a statement to DailyMail.com.
‘Hit pieces like these only serve to conjure non-existent palace-intrigue stories unworthy of the paper they’re printed on,’ he said.
And Melania’s office said Jordan, the author, did not reach out with a ‘full’ list of fact checking.
‘The stories and sources in this book are false. Neither the author nor the publisher reached out with a full list of fact checking – conveniently leaving the most ridiculous and salacious lies out on purpose, including these. The First Lady’s Office chose not to participate in this book due to the author’s dishonest tactics,’ Stephanie Grisham, the first lady’s chief of staff, told DailyMail.com in a statement.
A new book claims Melania Trump called Ivanka Trump ‘the princess’ while the first daughter referred to her as ‘the portrait’ – because she spoke about as much as one
The White House denied any reports of tension between Melania Trump and Ivanka Trump, the president’s daughter from his first marriage who serves as a West Wing adviser
Tidbits from the book have been released by The Washington Post and other outlets ahead of its sale date.
It paints a different portrait than the public image given by the private first lady. Jordan describes Melania as focused, ruthless and ambitious – leaving friends behind once she had moved on to a new portion of her life, whether that was a modeling career that led her from Milan to New York City or her marriage to the business mogul that took her to the White House.
Jordan, in fact, notes Melania, 50, and President Donald Trump have a lot in common.
‘There is ample evidence that from the very beginning, Melania not only accepted and embraced Trump’s political aspirations but was also an encouraging partner,’ Jordan writes, according to the book’s review in The Washington Post.
‘In her own way, she is as complex and complicated as her husband. She is also much more like him than it appears,’ adding that: ‘Both are avid creators of their own history.’
‘The Art of Her Deal’ reveals how Melania Trump used her new-found leverage as first lady to renegotiate her prenup, ensuring her son Barron Trump would be treated the same as the president’s three eldest children from his marriage to Ivana Trump.
Melania didn’t move into 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue until June 2017 – six months after President Trump took the oath of office. It was during that time she worked ‘to amend her financial arrangement with Trump – what Melania referred to as ‘taking care of Barron.”
‘ The Art of Her Deal: The Untold Story of Melania Trump ,’ by Washington Post reporter Mary Jordan, is out on Tuesday
‘She wanted proof in writing that when it came to financial opportunities and inheritance, Barron would be treated as more of an equal to Trump’s oldest three children,’ Jordan writes. Barron Trump was 10 when his father was elected president.
She wanted to ensure that Barron got his ‘rightful share of inheritance,’ particularly if Ivanka Trump took the reins of the family business, according to the Associated Press, which obtained an advance copy of the book.
‘According to three people close to Trump, a key reason was that she had finally reached a new and significantly improved financial agreement with Trump, which had left her in a noticeably better financial position,’ Jordan wrote of the marital negotiations. ‘Those sources did not know precisely what she sought, but it was not simply more money.’
It was about Barron. ‘Melania wanted and got options for him,’ the author noted.
The book also paints her as friendless – by choice – and notes she didn’t even have bridesmaids at her wedding.
She spends most of her time with Barron, 14, and her parents Viktor And Amalija Knavs, who moved to the Washington D.C. area after she moved to the White House to help her care for her son. Melania is reportedly very close to her sister, Ines, who lives in New York City.
But, at the White House, she, her parents and Barron speak Slovenian together, so much so that ‘Trump has complained to others that he has no idea what they are saying,’ Jordan writes, according to The New York Times book review.
The book also notes the former model is so camera-ready all the time a friend tells the author: ‘I don’t even know if she goes to the bathroom.’
The book reports on other tensions between Melania Trump and Ivanka Trump, noting the first daughter tried to use Melania’s delayed move to Washington D.C. to seize territory in the White House, suggesting the First Lady’s Office be renamed the First Family’s Office.
The White House called the story ‘totally false.’
Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump prepare to board Air Force One at the Morristown airport on Sunday to return to Washington D.C. with President Trump after spending the weekend at his Bedminister golf club
The White House denied a report Ivanka Trump tried to use Melania Trump’s delayed move to Washington D.C. to rename the first lady’s office the first family office; the two are seen together on Inauguration Day in January 2017
‘This is totally false. The media is once again running untrue information from anonymous sources and not once did anyone fact check this with the White House or Ivanka Trump,’ said deputy press secretary Judd Deere in a statement to Dailymail.com.
The two most prominent women in President Trump’s life – his 50-year-old wife and his 38-year-old eldest daughter – have little overlap in the White House complex: Ivanka Trump, who serves as an adviser to her father, has an office in the West Wing. Melania Trump works out of the East Wing on the opposite side of the building.
They have never hosted a joint initiative or event.
And, tensions were so bad between the two in 2018 overly separately planned trips to Africa, then-White House Chief of Staff John Kelly had to step in and mediate between the women and their offices, The New York Times reported at the time.
Both women made their first big solo trips of the Trump administration to Africa: Melania in October 2018 to focus on children’s issues as part of her Be Best campaign and Ivanka went in April 2019 to highlight economic development, particularly among women.
The 2019 biography of Melania Trump by CNN reporter Kate Bennett, entitled ‘Free, Melania: The Unauthorized Biography,’ described the relationship between the two women as ‘cordial, but not close.’
They do not have much in common even in their roles within the executive branch.
Ivanka Trump has focused on women’s issues, including expanding paid family leave, along with work place and vocational training.
Melania Trump has worked with children as part of her Be Best campaign, which emphasizes kindness, well-being and online safety.
They are seen together mainly at ceremonial events – such as last year’s state visit to England and February’s state visit to India – or are together on family occasions – like trips to Mar-a-Lago, the Winter White House in Palm Beach, Florida.
Melania Trump and Ivanka Trump are rarely seen together but it’s usually at family occasions such as this Thanksgiving Day dinner at Mar-a-Lago in November 2018 with Barron Trump and President Trump
Both Melania and Ivanka made their first big solo trips of the Trump administration to Africa: Melania in October 2018 to focus on children’s issues as part of her Be Best campaign
Ivanka Trump went in April 2019 to highlight economic development, particularly among women; above she meets with women at a coffee shop in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
When they are together at official events, Ivanka usually lets Melania take the lead. When most of the Trump family went to Florida last month for the first, failed attempt at SpaceX’s launch, both Melania and Ivanka made the trip.
Melania Trump stayed closed to President Trump during the tour of the NASA facilities at Cape Canaveral while Ivanka stayed back with her husband Jared Kushner and their two eldest children.
Both women also have influence on President Trump but in their own way.
When, in 2018, the Trump administration put into action a policy that separated migrant children from their families caught crossing the U.S.-Mexico border, both Melania and Ivanka opposed it.
Melania Trump made her feelings known directly to the president and then went to visit holding facilities on the border, a trip that was overshadowed when she was photographed wearing ‘I really don’t care, do you?’ jacket.
Ivanka Trump said during an event with Axios that she was ‘vehemently against’ the policy.
Melania Trump, the nation’s second immigrant first lady – the first was Louisa Adams, has kept a low profile during her tenure compared to other women who have occupied the role, particularly in modern times.
She has done few sit-down interviews and her signature initiative, Be Best, uses existing government and business structures to promote its pillars of kindness, well-being and online safety.
She keeps her East Wing staff small and her portion of the White House is famous for its lack of leaks and the loyalty of her staff. During the coronavirus pandemic, she reacted faster than her husband to contain it, ordering her staff to telework and to wear masks when inside the complex. She’s encouraged Americans to keep up social distancing and wear face masks. She worn one herself on Marine One although she has not been photographed wearing one openly in public.
But she has had her share of controversies, including the time she wore a jacket that read ‘I REALLY DON’T CARE, DO U?’ in June 2018 on her way to Texas to visit migrant children separated from their families. She also underwent surgery for a benign kidney condition in May 2018, disappearing from the public eye for nearly a month, sparking many rumors and speculation about her health.
Melania has said her role model is Jackie Kennedy, another famously shy first lady, known more for what she wore than for what she said.
Melania Knauss with her boyfriend Donald Trump in September 1998 – a new biography of the first lady casts doubt on the official story of how the couple met
The new bio reveals one of Melania’s top priorities is her son Barron, 14, was taken care of; the first family is seen on the South Lawn of the White House in January 2020
Jordan devotes several pages to Melania’s ‘mythmaking,’ noting it rivals Trump’s.
It includes lying about her age and plastic surgery. Melania wouldn’t correct reports that got her age wrong and ‘three photographers who worked with her said they’ve seen the scars’ from plastic surgery, the book notes.
Additionally Jordan quotes one of Melania’s former New York roommates ‘as saying she returned from a 1997 Christmas trip to Europe looking more buxom.’
The first lady, in April, celebrated her 50th birthday at the White House in a private dinner with her family.
And there is little evidence that claims Melania can peak four or five languages are true with the first lady appearing to only speak English and Slovenia fluently.
Besides her time in the White House, ‘The Art of Her Deal’ examines Melania’s childhood in Slovenia, her time as a model and her long courtship with Trump that accumulated in their marriage.
Melania did some modeling as a child in Slovenia but her big break came when renowned Slovenian fashion photographer Stane Jerko discovered the 17-year-old Melania in Ljubljana in 1987 at a modeling contest and asked if he could take some pictures of her.
Not long afterwards, she abandoned her studies, moved to Milan and then on to New York City.
The book also finds little evidence backing up the story of how Trump and Melania first met.
Paolo Zampolli, an Italian modeling agent who secured Melania’s visa to the United States, claimed he introduced the two at a 1998 party he hosted at the Kit Kat Club. Melania was said to refuse to give Trump her phone number.
Sources in the book claimed they had already been dating a year.
Barron Trump, President Trump, and Melania Trump with the Easter Bunny in April 2017 – one of her first appearances as first lady and at a time when she and Barron still lived in New York but came to Washington D.C. for the annual event
Melania Trump, in one of her first appearances as first lady, on February 15, 2017; she and President Trump wait at White House to greet Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara Netanyah
Melania Trump was spotted wearing a face mask on Marine One last month
One of Melania’s biggest controversies was when she wore the jacket that read ‘I really don’t care, do you?’ when she went to visit migrant children in Texas in June 2018
Melania Trump had kidney surgery in May 2018 and disappeared from the public eye for nearly a month; her above appearance at FEMA on June 6, 2018 was her first time being seen in public since the surgery
Melania Knauss and Donald Trump married on January 22, 2005 at the Episcopal Church of Bethesda-by-the-Sea in Palm Beach, Florida, and held their reception at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate.
It was Trump’s third marriage and her first. His marriage to Ivana Trump lasted 15 years and his marriage to Marla Maples last six years.
Melania Trump wore a $200,000 dress made by John Galliano for the ceremony. She appeared on the cover of Vogue wearing it. The reception was attended by a who’s who in New York celebrity circles, including Katie Couric, Matt Lauer, Rudy Giuliani, Heidi Klum, Star Jones, P. Diddy, Shaquille O’Neal, Barbara Walters, Kelly Ripa, then-Senator Hillary Clinton, and former president Bill Clinton.
‘Neither the very public Trump nor the very private Melania has many close friends. Their loner instincts filter into their own marriage,’ Jordan writes.
But friends tell her the Trumps genuinely love one another and have a strong marriage, despite sleeping in separate bedrooms and keeping separate schedules.
Barron Trump was born on March 20, 2006.