For his inauguration, the president wanted a North Korean-style military parade, right down to the “goose-stepping troops and armored tanks.”
First Lady Melania Trump’s former senior adviser and close friend has written a tell-all book that describes the first lady as someone who can’t be trusted and who often competed for influence in the White House with Ivanka Trump.
Stephanie Winston Wolkoff’s new book “Melania and Me: The Rise and Fall of My Friendship with the First Lady,” reveals that Melania wanted to block Ivanka’s face from appearing in photos of Donald Trump taking the oath of office, in a maneuver dubbed “Operation Block Ivanka.” (The operation was mostly successful.)
The reportedly icy relationship between Melania and Ivanka is a major theme of the book, and burst into the public eye on Thursday night at Trump’s convention acceptance speech. That’s when a short video of Melania smiling at Ivanka, followed by her facial expression quickly turning into a scowl, went viral, garnering 20 million views on Twitter.
Winston Wolkoff, a longtime Manhattan fashion and society party planner, was heavily involved in the planning of the president’s inauguration before leaving the White House in Feb. 2018 after negative reporting about her inauguration role appeared in the New York Times. In her book, she describes how Melania didn’t want to move to the White House right away in part because she didn’t want to have to use the same shower and toilet as former First Lady Michelle Obama and was waiting for the bathroom to be renovated.
An early copy of the book, which publishes Tuesday, was shared with POLITICO. Here are some of its most revelatory nuggets:
— Donald Trump wanted his inauguration to look like a North Korean military parade. When discussing the parade with Winston Wolkoff and Ivanka during the transition, Trump said: “I want tanks and choppers. Make it look like North Korea,” he told them. Winston Wolkoff wrote: “He really wanted goose-stepping troops and armored tanks? That would break tradition and terrify half the country.”
— Melania and Jared Kushner and Ivanka are big fans of the Kennedys and their Camelot myth. “It’s no coincidence that all three of their children—Arabella, Joseph, and Theodore—share names with Kennedy family members. Edward ‘Ted’ Kennedy and Joseph Kennedy you know; Arabella Kennedy was JFK and Jackie’s stillborn daughter,” Winston Wolkoff writes.
— Melania doesn’t place a high importance on other people’s wants and desires, according to the book. Winston Wolkoff says that she has sometimes said over the years: “Pleasing anyone else is not my priority!” The author said that she wished she had Melania’s confidence and her ability to put herself first without thinking much of others.
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