Melania Trump’s former confidant Stephanie Winston Wolkoff’s new book details the allegedly contentious relationship between the third lady and first daughter, Ivanka Trump.
In her new book, Melania and Me: The Rise and Fall of My Friendship with the First Lady, Wolkoff details the work she and, allegedly, Melania took to block Ivanka from appearing in photos of Trump‘s swearing in at the inauguration, according to an excerpt published Wednesday in New York Magazine.
“We were all exhausted and stressed out. 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.”
Wolkoff, a former director of special events for Vogue who oversaw events like the Met Gala and helped organize events around Trump’s inauguration, has known Melania for more than a decade.
Wolkoff was Melania’s first hire in the East Wing and worked unpaid as a special government employee. But as investigations into inaugural activities progressed, the moneyWolkoff’s firm was paid (nearly $26 million!) caused a rift with the Trumps.
“severed the gratuitous services contract with Ms. Wolkoff.”
The excerpt from Wolkoff’s new book details the bad blood between Melania and Ivanka whom Melania referred to as,
Wolkoff claimed that Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner, both White House staffers, were always on the lookout for opportunities to diminish and “control” Melania, even trying to snap up office space in the East Wing.
“Ivanka was relentless and was determined to be the First Daughter Lady and to usurp office space out from under Melania; she wanted to be the only visible female Trump on the premises.”
A transition source disputed that notion,
“The idea that she was trying to take over the East Wing, I know it’s been written a million times, that doesn’t make it any more true,”
Wolkoff also took a swipe at Ivanka over her use of a private email server for official business.
“Ivanka was asking her work contacts at the White House to write to her at her private email — the exact offense the Trumps had lambasted Hillary Clinton for during the general election
Would anyone chant ‘Lock her up!’ about Ivanka’s private server? Doubtful. The email thing was hypocritical, to say the least. But the Trumps made their own rules.”
The short preview of the book also reveals the slapdash efforts to throw together an inaugural committee. The attorney general in Washington, DC, sued the Trump inaugural committee earlier this year for abusing nonprofit funds. Wolkoff wrote that Rick Gates — the former deputy campaign chairman who would go on to plead guilty to financial crimes and cooperate in special counsel Robert Mueller‘s investigation — had complete access to Trump Tower.
Meanwhile, according to Wolkoff, Trump didn’t even seem to realize Gates was at the helm of his inaugural planning.
In the book, Trump proclaims,
“I want Rick fired right now! That bullshit.”
He then promptly turned around and got John McEntee — a “25-year-old body man” — to run inauguration efforts. Trump told him
‘You’re in charge of the inauguration now,’
I couldn’t tell if Donald was serious about tapping the 25-year-old body man to be the new deputy chairman of the (Presidential Inaugural Committee). He looked like he was just out of college.”
McEntee never did take the helm of the inauguration efforts.
As for Wolkoff, she received a subpoena last year regarding her work with the inauguration.
Melania and Me: The Rise and Fall of My Friendship with the First Lady is due out September 1.
(Photos, YouTube; via CNN)