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Melania Trump Says Immigrant Kids Are Coached How to Stay in the U.S. Illegally

Stephanie Winston Wolkoff said from the start that her tell-all book Melania and Me: The Rise and Fall of My Friendship With the First Lady was based on a series of secretly recorded conversations with Melania Trump. But on Thursday night, the American public heard those audiotapes for the first time on CNN, revealing First Lady Melania venting about everything from Christmas decorations to the plight of migrant families seeking asylum in the U.S. While Wolkoff had written about Melania’s seeming lack of concern for children separated from their mothers at the border, these tapes reveal Melania’s assessment of the situation in her own words. Our first lady seems to believe that there’s an epidemic of immigrant kids who are coached to lie to border officials in order to stay in the U.S. illegally, inventing dangers in their home countries that don’t actually exist. And needless to say, this kind of anti-immigrant rhetoric hurts — especially during Hispanic Heritage Month, especially during ever-emerging reports of atrocities being committed at ICE detention centers, and especially when it comes right from the White House.

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In conversations between Melania and Wolkoff, who was a decades-long friend as well as an advisor, the first lady advanced her theory that immigrant children weren’t really in need of safety and shelter, but were part of a calculated ploy to take advantage of America’s resources.

“A lot of, like, moms and kids they are teached how to do it. They go over and they say like, ‘Oh, we will be killed by a gang member, we will be, you know, it’s so dangerous.’ So they are allowed to stay here,” she said. “They are teached by other people what to say to come over and to, you know, let them go to stay here.”

“Because they could easily stay in Mexico, but they don’t want to stay in Mexico,” she added. “Because Mexico doesn’t take care of them the same as America does.”

Melania’s chief of staff Stephanie Grisham told The New York Times that these recordings were taken out of context, and cannot be trusted as they were released for Wolkoff’s profit: “There is no way to know if these recordings have been edited, and it’s clear the clips were handpicked and presented with no context. The first lady remains focused on her family and serving our country.”

Melania, an immigrant herself, has consistently surprised critics with her seeming lack of concern for the plight of those at the border. These tapes appear to be further evidence that the first lady is not only not concerned for their welfare, but actively distrusts them and does not believe they need the help they claim to seek.

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