When you’re in the White House, it’s natural to be somewhat paranoid about having enemies. When you’re in the Trump White House, that goes double — but not even paranoia can explain the bizarre non-disclosure agreements that authorities have found in many Trump aides’ contracts, including former WH advisor Stephanie Winston Wolkoff. It’s now disputed what role exactly Wolkoff played in the administration since she claims she was Melania Trump’s closest friend and advisor and Melania refers to her as “a former contractor who advised my office.” Since her time there, Wolkoff has released the tell-all book Melania and Me: The Rise and Fall of My Friendship With the First Lady about her falling-out with the Trump family, as well as audiotapes of her recorded conversations with Melania to back up her quotes. Melania has released an official statement condemning the claims made by Wolkoff as lies and malicious gossip, and claiming in turn that she and Wolkoff never had the kind of close relationship illustrated in the book.
In her statement, Melania essentially dismisses Wolkoff’s claims as part of a larger plot to distort Melania’s character and engender personal gain — and she claims that, in doing that, she’s actually distracted valuable attention away from the needs of children.
“We all know that more often than not, information that could be helpful to children is lost in the noise made by self-serving adults,” FLOTUS writes. “I have most recently found this to be the case as major news outlets eagerly covered salacious claims made by a former contractor who advised my office. A person who said she ‘made me’ even though she hardly knew me, and someone who clung to me after my husband won the Presidency.“
Those familiar with Wolkoff will know that this is vastly different than the relationship she claimed in Melania and Me, backed up by years of text messages, emails, and yes, recorded conversations between the two. Obviously, this last point is where Melania takes serious exception since those recordings caught her complaining about everything from migrant children coming to the US to Christmas decorations in the White House.
“This is a woman who secretly recorded our phone calls, releasing portions from me that were out of context, then wrote a book of idle gossip trying to distort my character,” Melania continues. Her ‘memoir’ included blaming me for her ailing health from an accident she had long ago, and for bad news coverage that she brought upon herself and others. Never once looking within at her own dishonest behavior and all in an attempt to be relevant. These kinds of people only care about their personal agenda — not about helping others.”
We’re not sure exactly what context would have softened the blow of hearing some of these tapes between Melania and Wolkoff, but there’s certainly room to imagine a reality between the decade-long warm friendship Wolkoff describes and the faintly hostile professional one Melania recalls.
“Once again, outlets chose to focus their coverage on pettiness over my positive work,” Melania concluded. And while this may be “pettiness” of our own, it’s worth noting that FLOTUS’ statement had every opportunity to take the high road and address that positive work itself, maybe even offering some of that valuable information to children at which she earlier hinted. If Melania has strong opinions on the type of content large platforms choose to run, she should turn that attention inward (and at her husband, to whatever extent possible).
If Melania Trump wants more attention on children in need and off herself, she has the power to put it there. But a statement slamming her former advisor as a liar and a gossip won’t quite cut it.
Before you go, click here to see quotes that prove Melania Trump is a lot like her husband.