Melania Trump’s former confidant Stephanie Winston Wolkoff has written a book that gives the public an inside look at the reportedly tumultuous relationship between the first lady and first daughter Ivanka Trump.
New York Magazine featured an excerpt from Wolkoff’s new book titled “Melania and Me: The Rise and Fall of My Friendship with the First Lady,” and gives a behind-the-scenes look at some contentious moments between the First Women, for instance, how Wolkoff allegedly worked with Melania to keep Ivanka out of photos at President Trump’s inauguration ceremony.
Wolkoff said, “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 formerly served as director of special events for Vogue magazine and she was responsible for events like the Met Gala. She has known Melania for over 10 years and helped coordinate events around Trump’s swearing in ceremony in 2017. She was the first hire Melania made in the East wing and worked as a special unpaid government employee but her employment didn’t last long- there was a dispute after Wolkoff’s firm was paid nearly $26 million.
Almost every bit of that total went to subcontractors and vendors and in February 2018, the East Wing stated it had “severed the gratuitous services contract with Ms. Wolkoff.”
In the excerpt released, Wolkoff shares some of the alleged bad blood between Melania and Ivanka and even says Melania has referred to Ivanka as “Princess.”
At least one administration official takes issue with Wolkoff and called her behavior “the complete opposite of Mrs. Trump’s style.”
The official said, “She inflated her relationship with the first lady… it had to be brought to Mrs. Trump’s attention — who does not tolerate that kind of behavior.”
Wolkoff alleged that Ivanka and husband Jared Kushner – both staffers at the White House – were always trying to act in ways to diminish and “control” the First Lady.
She wrote, “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.” She claims that one way Ivanka and Kushner tried to exert their dominance was how they worked to snatch up space in the East Wing during the transition.
One source close to the transition period of Trump’s time in office disagreed and said “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,” the source said.
Wolkoff also wrote about Ivanka’s use of personal emails, saying, “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.”
Representatives for Ivanka also refute those claims.
The book also details how haphazardly an inaugural committee was thrown together and to that end, that very committee has recently been sued by DC attorney general for abusing nonprofit funds.
Wolkoff wrote that the former deputy campaign chairman Rick Gates had total access to Trump Tower— keep in mind that Gates would go on to plead guilty to financial crimes and later complied for special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into the Trump administration.
The book says that Trump proclaimed, “I want Rick fired right now! That b——.” And that he then tapped John McEntee — a “25-year-old body man” — to run the inauguration.
According to Wolkoff, Trump “told the kid to sit down. ‘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.”