Melania Trump lashed out at ‘delusional & malicious gossip’ on Thursday after her former best friend revealed the first lady’s bitter rivalry with Ivanka Trump and a secret email account.
Trump’s criticism of the stories surrounding her tenure in the White House comes as she prepares to host an event at the White House on drug addiction crisis, which is one of the pillars of her Be Best campaign.
‘This afternoon I will be hosting a roundtable with some incredible citizens in recovery & the amazing organizations that support them. I encourage the media to focus & report on the nation’s drug crisis, not on delusional & malicious gossip,’ the first lady wrote on Twitter.
Melania Trump lashed out at ‘delusional & malicious gossip’ after her former best friend’s book was published
The book revealed Melania’s rivalry with first daughter Ivanka Trump
Ivanka Trump, President Trump and Melania Trump together last week for the president’s address to the Republican National Convention
Melania Trump has increased her national profile in the past week as her husband enters the final phase of his re-election campaign. She addressed the Republican National Convention last week as part of her effort to win President Donald Trump a second term.
But she’s also seen numerous headlines surrounding the publication of Stephanie Winston Wolkoff’s memoir ‘Melania & Me.’
Wolkoff, who worked on the Trump inauguration and as an unpaid adviser in the East Wing in the early days of the administration, offered details on the tense relationship between Melania Trump and her stepdaughter Ivanka Trump.
She also revealed Melania uses a private email account, which President Trump criticized Hillary Clinton for doing during their bitter 2016 campaign.
Author Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, pictured, told The Washington Post: ‘Melania and I both didn’t use White House emails.’
Wolkoff told The Washington Post: ‘Melania and I both didn’t use White House emails.’
The first lady is said to have used a private Trump Organization email account and an email from a MelaniaTrump.com domain as well as iMessage.
The messages were said to show her discussing government hires, state visits and schedules, the Easter egg roll and her Be Best initiative.
The East Wing said Melania Trump has followed the requirements of the Presidential Records Act.
‘In consultation with White House ethics officials, from the beginning of the Administration, the First Lady and her staff have taken steps to meet the standard of the Presidential Records Act, relating to the preservation of records that adequately document official activities,’ Stephanie Grisham, chief of staff to the first lady, said in a statement.
In 2018 The Washington Post reported that Ivanka Trump sent hundreds of emails about government business from a personal email account to White House aides, Cabinet members and her assistant.
Ivanka dismissed any comparison to the use of private email by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, which prompted an FBI investigation and inspired the ‘Lock Her Up’ chant at Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign rallies.
Use of personal emails is allowed but it is illegal to discuss anything classified.
Wolkoff also admitted to recording her conversations with Melania, but defended doing so, saying she did it for protection.
She told The Post she started recording Melania in February 2018 until they stopped talking or texting on Jan. 1, 2019.
She said she decided to do so the day after the White House terminated her contract, out of fear of becoming a ‘fall guy’ amid scrutiny of inaugural spending intensified.
Stephanie Winston Wolkoff’s book ‘Melania and Me: The Rise and Fall of My Friendship with the First Lady’ was released on September 1
‘I didn’t record a friend. I would never record a friend,’ Winston Wolkoff told The Post. ‘But — this is very important — she was no longer my friend when I pressed record.
Wolkoff left the East Wing in February 2018 after The New York Times, in February 2018, published an article revealing the inauguration cost $107 million – twice what Barack Obama’s first inauguration cost – and that Wolkoff’s firm received $26 million of that money.
Most of that money went to vendors Wolkoff’s firm hired to produce the events.
Wolkoff argues the story was planted by her enemies in the White House and by those who didn’t want to answer to the where much of the inaugural money went.
‘That’s the question that everyone should be asking,’ she told ABC News last week of the $107 million raised.
She said she received $480,000 for her three months of work on the inauguration – ‘a fee of less than one half of one-percent.’
Her memoir details her 15-year friendship with Melania, who she first met while she was working at Vogue magazine.
It’s the first book about Melania Trump to emerge from her inner circle and Wolkoff charts a disillusionment with the first lady, writing that she thought Melania was different but realized ‘A Trump is a Trump is a Trump. All along, I thought she was one of us. Bat at her core, she’s one of them.’
There are several gossipy bits in the 339-page book, including the revelation Melania laughed during the 2016 campaign after the infamous ‘Access Hollywood’ tape came out and revealed Trump saying he liked to grab women ‘by the p****.’
Wolkoff claims the first lady also scoffed at Michelle Obama’s time in office. She reportedly once said ‘Did Michelle Obama go to the border? She never did. Show me the pictures!’
The book also paints an unflattering portrait of Ivanka Trump, showing her as eager to run the show and claiming she was trying take over many of Melania’s first lady duties.
‘Ivanka was very focused on Ivanka,’ Wolkoff writes.
The White House has disputed much that is in the book, arguing Wolkoff has some ‘imagined need for revenge.’
‘Anybody who secretly tapes their self-described best friend is by definition, dishonest,’ Grisham told DailyMail.com in a statement last week. ‘The book is not only full of mistruths and paranoia, it it is based on some imagined need for revenge. Wolkoff builds herself up while belittling and blaming everyone she worked with, yet she still managed to be the victim. Sadly, this is a deeply insecure woman who’s need to be relevant defies logic.’
Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, Melania Trump’s former friend, said she and the first lady laughed during the 2016 campaign after the infamous ‘Access Hollywood’ tape came out
Stephanie Winston Wolkoff came under fire after details were revealed about the money she was paid for her role in planning Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential inauguration – above she’s seen with Melania Trump at a January 2017 dinner ahead of the inaugural
The book claims Melania Trump plotted to keep Ivanka Trump out of the photos of President Donald Trump taking the oath of office on Inauguration Day with her ‘Operation Block Ivanka.’
The first lady approved seating arrangements for the inauguration platform that would keep Ivanka Trump out of the camera shot during the moment her father was sworn in as the 45th president of the United States.
Wolkoff writes that: ‘Ivanka texted me a photo of Barack Obama’s swearing-in, his hand on the Bible, Michelle, Malia, and Sasha standing to his left. She wrote, ‘FYI regarding the swearing in. It is nice to have family with him for this special moment.”
But, instead, Wolkoff and the incoming first lady launched ‘Operation Block Ivanka’ to keep the first daughter out of the shot.
The two women went to great lengths to thwart Ivanka.
They took advantage of Wolkoff’s position on the inauguration planning committee to gain advance information on how the day would play out in order to make their scheme work.
Melania Trump plotted to block Ivanka Trump from being in photos of President Trump taking the oath of office on Inauguration Day, in what was dubbed ‘Operation Block Ivanka’
Melania Trump wanted an image like the one above – with her Trump and their son Barron
Wolkoff, a former Met Gala planner and personal friend of Melania’s, was tapped to help produce Inauguration Day and the events surrounding it.
Using her position, she had an executive of her company, WIS Media Partners, take detailed notes on the inauguration platform at the U.S. Capitol building during one of the walk throughs that proceed such events. Walk throughs allow organizers and staff of the attendees to do a practice run of how the day will play out. It allows all the details of the day to be worked out: what time people arrive and in what order, where they will sit, and how the day will play out in precise order.
Using the detailed sketch her employee drew up of the platform on the East Front of the Capitol, where Trump was sworn in with his family and VIP guests behind him, Melania and Wolkoff were able to work out where the cameras would be located on and how the chairs for the family should be positioned to get the images they wanted.
‘Using his sketch, we were able to figure out whose face would be visible when Donald and Melania sat in their seats, and then when the family stood with Chief Justice John Roberts for Donald to take the oath of office,’ Wolkoff wrote. ‘If Ivanka was not on the aisle, her face would be hidden while she was seated. For the standing part, we put Barron between Donald and Melania.’
Melania and Wolkoff then arranged for Donald Trump Jr., the president’s oldest son, to be stand next to Melania instead of Ivanka, further keeping her out of the shot.
Wolkoff blames ‘exhaustion and stress’ for some of the drama but also acknowledges the pettiness of it.
‘Yes, Operation Block Ivanka was petty. Melania was in on this mission. But in our minds, Ivanka shouldn’t have made herself the center of attention in her father’s inauguration,’ she wrote.
David Wolkoff, Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, Melania Trump and Donald Trump pictured in 2008. The two women had a falling out over Wolkoff’s work for the inauguration and reports on how much money she was paid for the gig.
She notes their Operation Block Ivanka was a result of the first daughter trying to control the schedule for inauguration day and make sure her family – husband Jared Kushner and their three children – had prominent positions on the big day.
‘It was Donald’s inauguration, not Ivanka’s. But no one was brave enough to tell her that. Melania was not thrilled about Ivanka’s steering the schedule and would not allow it. Neither was she happy to hear that Ivanka insisted on walking in the Pennsylvania Avenue parade with her children,’ she noted.
Wolkoff’s book gives legitimacy to years of talk of a rivalry between Melania and Ivanka that has accumulated in an intense, competitive relationship between the two women.
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 are rarely seen together at events.