In a secretly recorded phone call in the summer of 2018, US First Lady Melania Trump has expressed her frustration for being criticised over her husband President Donald Trump’s policy of separating families who illegally crossed the southern border of the country while at the same time she had to perform traditional First Lady duties, such as preparing for Christmas.
“They say I’m complicit. I’m the same like him, I support him. I don’t say enough, I don’t do enough where I am,” she said in a tape secretly recorded by Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, a former friend and senior adviser to the First Lady who wrote a book about their relationship, “Melania and Me.”
The tapes were played exclusively on CNN’s ‘Anderson Cooper 360’ on Thursday night and were recorded by Wolkoff after she left the White House.
“I’m working … my a** off on the Christmas stuff, that you know, who gives a f*** about the Christmas stuff and decorations? But I need to do it, right?”
She continued, “OK, and then I do it and I say that I’m working on Christmas and planning for Christmas and they said, ‘Oh, what about the children that they were separated?’ Give me a f****** break. Where they were saying anything when Obama did that? I can not go, I was trying to get the kid reunited with the mom. I didn’t have a chance — needs to go through the process and through the law.”
In a statement, Melania Trump’s chief of staff Stephanie Grisham slammed Wolkoff for releasing the recording.
“Secretly taping the First Lady and willfully breaking an NDA to publish a salacious book is a clear attempt at relevance. The timing of this continues to be suspect – as does this never-ending exercise in self-pity and narcissism,” she said in a statement.
Wolkoff told Cooper on Thursday that she believed Melania Trump may have felt concerned for the children but had moved past it to fit in with the administration’s agenda.
“I think that as a mother, those maternal instincts in her were set off and she did care,” Wolkoff said. “But there is no husband to come to, the leader of the free world, to discuss how she’s feeling about that. So regardless of that, she steps in line and she just decides that what she has heard and what she’s been told is what the rule of law is in our country.”
Wolkoff added, “On the flip side, Melania, the traditions of the first lady and President have gone out the window with this couple and I feel that if there were — there is so much that could be done but, again, no support. No understanding.”
Wolkoff has recently released a book revealing private conversations with the First Lady on topics ranging from her frosty relationship with her stepdaughter Ivanka to her marriage, her thoughts on border policy, Michelle Obama, to the controversy over a jacket she wore in 2018 and her frequent use of emojis.