First Lady Melania Trump will be remembered primarily for two things: her emphatic disdain for Christmas decorations and her craven silence as her husband, the worst president in the history of the United States, inflicted untold cruelties on the most vulnerable members of our society, mismanaged the COVID-19 pandemic, and ended his tenure by assaulting the very foundations of our democracy by trying to overturn a legitimate election.
It remains to be seen what kind of horror stories will yet emerge about the Trumps’ time in the White House, but Melania is already taking a beating in the court of public opinion. Her former friend and advisor Stephanie Winston Wolkoff wrote a book about her time with the First Lady which revealed all manner of embarrassing anecdotes, ranging from Melania’s toilet hangups to her dislike of First Daughter Ivanka.
In a new interview with Molly Jong-Fast, Wolkoff reveals that Melania tried to get her to take the fall for stories about inauguration overspending before ejecting her from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
“I begged her to just come out and say that I was her friend, I was loyal. Nope, nothing. So the betrayal, the pain of that was like—I gave up my whole life for this woman. No one else would help Melania. I mean, she was alone. I should’ve known better. She is just like her husband,” said Wolkoff, who ultimately decided to tape her conversations with the First Lady which for some reason continued even after she was removed from her advisor position.
“Taping a friend is, it’s unacceptable. It really is. But Melania was no longer my friend when I pressed record. Because when I pressed record on the conversations I had with her, it was only after she, Donald, and the PIC [Presidential Inauguration Committee] [tried] to make me the scapegoat and to falsely accuse me for the overspending of $107 million of the inaugural funds. First and foremost, I taped to protect myself because I needed to be protected once I knew I was going to be under investigation,” explained Wolkoff.
Wolkoff also discussed the now-infamous “I Don’t Care” coat worn by Melania during a trip to a detention center for undocumented children. Photos of the outfit sparked understandable outrage, as many interpreted the message as a direct commentary on her apathy towards the suffering of caged children.
When Herve Pierre—a fashion designer who was friends with both the First Lady and Wolkoff and who made dresses for Melania in the past—was criticized over the incident despite not being involved with it (the jacket was purchased from Zara), Wolkoff reached out to the First Lady and asked if she would be issuing a public explanation over the scandal. Melania acknowledged that Pierre had nothing to do with the coat but delighted in the fact it was “driving liberals crazy” because “they deserve it.”
“When I sent [Pierre] the photograph [of Melania’s jacket], he immediately wrote me back saying, ‘Is this Photoshop?’ And I wanted so desperately to say yes. He was devastated,” explained Wolkoff.
“There’s so much callousness. Even in just trying to get [Pierre] paid for collaborating with her and making her first dress, it was like pulling teeth. There is no empathy or remorse for the fact that here’s someone who was blamed because he’s known as her ‘stylist,” Wolkoff went on.
Wolkoff’s insights into Melania’s characters are more important than ever now that the Trumps will soon be reentering the world as private citizens. This vile First Lady cannot be permitted to whitewash her legacy. Even if she were to divorce her husband and denounce his actions over the past four years it wouldn’t mean anything at this point. She enabled him and gleefully profited from his power and influence. She is every bit as culpable as the rest of her crooked family.
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