Each time Melania Trump appears to publicly defy husband Donald Trump — by refusing to hold his hand, or leaving him hanging during a photo op — the world gasps, and gets to work decoding. “Melania, blink twice if you need help,” is a frequent joke on Twitter, though it’s unclear how seriously some take it. The agreed-upon idea is that Melania, in those rare moments, is showing her true colors, and that her demeanor otherwise as a supportive wife is all a ruse. Former friend and advisor Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, however, says we have that dead wrong. It’s the loving wife that’s Melania’s true character, she argues, and those snubs in the public eye are just another way of keeping the media’s eyes elsewhere. And as for those hoping Melania would divorce Donald shortly after he left office: forget it. That was never Melania’s plan.
“I thought Melania [Trump] was different than the rest,” she admitted. “She’s not, but I believed, just as these people believe Donald when he tells them something over and over… I had to learn the hard way that she is a Trump.”
Far from on the verge of separation, Wolkoff argues that Melania has always been an integral part of what keeps Donald up and running.
“I believe their way of showing affection towards one another is her telling him how wonderful and great he is,” she explained on the podcast. “She was always his first phone call [after a rally], always, no matter where she was. And the first thing he’d say was ‘Hey Baby, how’d I do?’ Like he wants her approval.”
“She tells him how it is, but she also makes sure to elevate him and embrace what he’s doing, because that is who she is,” she adds. “And I didn’t realize that, but when you see their eye contact and the seduction through that gaze, it’s more about that than I think anything else.”
As for those showy displays of leaving Donald cold: Wolkoff calls those “distractions” to “shine the light over here so you don’t see what’s going on over there.” Melania has long enjoyed playing games with the press, down to her “I Really Don’t Care” jacket, but we still wonder what the couple gained, if they do present as a united front, by Melania appearing to distance herself in this way.
As far as we know, Donald and Melania are as happy as ever down at Mar-a-Lago. But those who have been viewing Trump’s presidency as a hostage situation for Melania may want to rethink that position.
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Before you go, click here to see our favorite photos of President Joe Biden’s big family.