‘I’m ashamed to have worked with her’: Melania Trump’s former adviser lashes out at first lady’s ‘silence and inactions’ during Capitol Hill riot and says she’s an ‘abuser’ who ‘encourages her husband to be aggressive’
- Stephanie Winston Wolkoff is a former adviser to First Lady Melania Trump
- She penned op-ed for The Daily Beast in which she lashed out at first lady
- Wolkoff slammed Melania for her ‘silence and inactions’ during riot at US Capitol
- She regrets being ‘blind to depth of [Melania’s] deception and lack of decency’
- During riot, Melania Trump was in White House doing a photoshoot of rugs
- Five people died during riot after mob was incited by President Trump
- Wolkoff was adviser until February 2018 when she left amid controversy
- She helped produce Trump’s inauguration and worked in Melania’s office
- District of Columbia sued inaugural committee over spending irregularities
- Wolkoff claims that she was ‘thrown under the bus’ by the Trumps
Melania Trump is being slammed by a former friend and adviser for her ‘silence and inactions’ during Wednesday’s riot at the Capitol building by supporters of her husband.
Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, who wrote a tell-all book about her friendship with President Trump’s wife, writes in The Daily Beast that she is ‘ashamed’ to have ever worked for the first lady.
‘I can’t believe how blind I was to the depth of her deception and lack of common decency,’ Wolkoff writes.
DailyMail.com has reached out to the White House for a response.
Stephanie Winston Wolkoff (left) blasted her former friend and boss, First Lady Melania Trump (seen right), for her silence during and after the riots at the United States Capitol building on Wednesday. The above image was taken in Washington, DC, in January 2017
A mob of supporters of President Trump stormed the Capitol building on Wednesday, sending lawmakers scurrying for cover. Five people died, including a police officer
The mob was incited by President Trump, who spoke to his supporters and urged them to march to the Capitol building moments before the riots
Wolkoff’s op-ed is in response to Wednesday’s horrific events at the Capitol building, where a mob inspired by the president stormed Congress and forced lawmakers to flee to underground bunkers in terror.
Five people died, including a police officer who was hit in the head with a fire extinguisher, a woman who was shot and killed by police as she tried to burst through the door to the House Chamber, and three others who suffered medical emergencies.
The events have led to calls for Trump’s impeachment and removal from office. Many Democrats and a handful of Republicans have urged the president to resign before his term expires on January 20.
‘I wish I could say I was shocked by President Trump’s actions, but sadly I can not, or say I don’t comprehend Melania’s silence and inactions, but pathetically, they are both expected,’ she writes.
The first lady was conducting a photoshoot at the White House on Wednesday when the MAGA mob violently took over the US Capitol Building.
CNN reported Friday on the first lady’s whereabouts Wednesday afternoon, as she’s been completely silent since her husband incited the riot.
‘Photos were being taken of rugs and other items in the Executive Residence and the East Wing,’ a person familiar with Melania Trump’s activities told the network.
One source in the White House told CNN that Melania has ‘checked out’ and ‘she just isn’t in a place mentally or emotionally anymore where she wants to get involved.’
Two of her top staffers had resigned by Wednesday night.
The first was Stephanie Grisham, her spokesperson and chief of staff who was also briefly White House press secretary.
Grisham was followed out the door by White House Social Secretary Rickie Niceta.
With the two of them gone, the East Wing staff is down to a bare bones operation.
Melania Trump has had a smaller staff than most first ladies since she moved to the White House in June 2017.
The first lady (seen right with President Trump on December 31) was conducting a photoshoot at the White House when the MAGA mob stormed Capitol Hill Wednesday, CNN reported on Friday
Wolkoff was scathing in her criticism of the first lady.
‘Melania knows how to “Be Best” at standing up and reading from a teleprompter and not from the heart,’ she writes.
‘She and her husband lack character, and have no moral compass.
‘Although my intentions to support the first lady in the rollout of her initiatives were always pure, I’m disheartened and ashamed to have worked with Melania.’
Wolkoff, in addition to her book, also released audio recordings in which the first lady is heard complaining about having to decorate the mansion for Christmas.
The tapes aired on CNN in early October just a few weeks after Wolkoff released a book last month titled Melania and Me: The Rise and Fall of My Friendship with the First Lady.
The White House has dismissed her book as ‘full of mistruths and paranoia.’
She promoted the book in interviews and released recordings to CNN of some of her private conversations with Mrs. Trump.
In other recordings, she downplays the conditions in which migrant children separated from their parents were housed in US detention centers at the Mexico border, and refers to Stormy Daniels as the ‘porn hooker.’
Daniels is the adult film actress who has said she slept with Trump during his marriage to Melania Trump.
In her Daily Beast article, Wolkoff repeated earlier criticisms of the first lady, calling her an ‘extension’ of her husband who was there to ‘soften his image’ instead of leaving her own legacy. Wolkoff is seen far right alongside the Trumps in this undated file photo
The president has denied the relationship.
The first lady, who recently recovered from COVID-19, claims Wolkoff ‘hardly knew me’ and describes her former longtime friend as ‘someone who clung to me after my husband won the presidency.’
‘This is a woman who secretly recorded our phone calls, releasing portions from me that were out of context, then wrote a book of idle gossip trying to distort my character,’ Mrs. Trump wrote.
Melania Trump on her former best friend
First Lady Melania Trump wrote a blog post in mid-October in response to claims made by Stephanie Winston Wolkoff in her book.
Over the last couple of weeks, I have had time to reflect on many things personal to me. One of the most honorable and important roles I have ever undertaken has been serving you, the American people, as the First Lady of this country.
When I thought about where I wanted to put my time and efforts, there was no hesitation. BE BEST has one simple purpose—to help children. It serves to provide the tools children need to prepare them for their futures.
We all know that more often than not, information that could be helpful to children is lost in the noise made by self-serving adults. I have most recently found this to be the case as major news outlets eagerly covered salacious claims made by a former contractor who advised my office. A person who said she “made me” even though she hardly knew me, and someone who clung to me after my husband won the Presidency. This is a woman who secretly recorded our phone calls, releasing portions from me that were out of context, then wrote a book of idle gossip trying to distort my character. Her “memoir” included blaming me for her ailing health from an accident she had long ago, and for bad news coverage that she brought upon herself and others. Never once looking within at her own dishonest behavior and all in an attempt to be relevant. These kinds of people only care about their personal agenda—not about helping others.
Once again, outlets chose to focus their coverage on pettiness over my positive work. There are plenty of opportunists out there who only care about themselves, and unfortunately seek to self-aggrandize by knowingly taking advantage of my goodwill.
Anyone who is focused on tearing things down for their own gain, after knowing what I stand for, has lost sight of what we are here to accomplish and who we are here to serve. To push forward a personal agenda that attempts to defame my office and the efforts of my team, only takes away from our work to help children.
I would say to my team, our supporters, and to all those out there on the frontlines in our communities every day—remember what we are all about and what we are trying to accomplish together. I would remind the media that they have the choice of focusing on our next generation. As a country, we cannot continue to get lost in the noise of negativity and encourage ambition by those who seek only to promote themselves.
Thank you to all who have given us support. Thank you for you tireless efforts and for your love of this country. I look forward to working with you closely over the next four years.
She accused Wolkoff of ‘dishonest behavior,’ but offered no examples, ‘all in an attempt to be relevant.’
‘These kinds of people only care about their personal agenda – not about helping others,’ the first lady said.
Her complaints served to resurrect coverage of Wolkoff’s claims.
She wrote in the book about her work on Trump’s inauguration and blamed the first lady for not defending her after questions arose about excessive spending by the committee.
Wolkoff was an unpaid White House adviser to the first lady until February 2018, when her contract was terminated.
Her book chronicled a yearslong relationship with the first lady and their regular lunches in New York City and emoji-filled text exchanges.
Reports said she was ousted because Trump and Melania were angry over the spending for the January 2017 inauguration celebration but Wolkoff has long insisted that she wasn’t fired, yet simply ‘thrown under the bus’.
In January, Trump’s inaugural committee was sued over allegations it had spent more than $1million to book a ballroom at the Trump International Hotel for his inauguration celebration as part of a scheme to ‘grossly overpay’ for party space and enrich the president’s own family in the process.
Wolkoff devotes two of the book’s 11 chapters to planning for the January 2017 inauguration, describing the committee responsible for raising money to pay for several days of events as beset with organizational and communications issues that complicated her work.
She says she repeatedly raised questions about spending but she eventually came to be viewed as the problem.
Trump’s Presidential Inaugural Committee raised nearly $107million for the lavish event, an unprecedented inaugural price tag nearly twice that of President Barack Obama’s inauguration in 2009.
‘Like a broken record, I kept expressing my concerns about budgets,’ Wolkoff wrote.
‘Also like a broken record, I became everyone’s problem.’
Some of those involved in or aware of the committee’s work told The Associated Press in September 2017 that the orchestration of the inauguration was marred by last-minute decisions, staffing turnover and little financial oversight.
In apparent vindication for Wolkoff, the lawsuit states she had raised concerns about the costs with Trump, Ivanka and Rick Gates, a top campaign official at the time.
Wolkoff, a former events planner for Vogue, was deposed last month with DC Attorney General Karl Racine describing her testimony as ‘truthful, honest and fulsome’ and said it ‘strengthens’ the city’s case.
She writes that Melania Trump leaves the East Wing of the White House without having accomplished anything of note.
‘She left behind no legacy or profile to be proud of as First Lady of the United States,’ according to Wolkoff.
‘I made a life-changing mistake and continued working for Melania, even though I knew the environment was toxic after the planning of the inauguration, because I believed I could make a difference.
Stephanie Winston Wolkoff’s book ‘Melania and Me: The Rise and Fall of My Friendship with the First Lady’ was released on September 1
‘What a fool I was, thinking I could make a difference in the middle of this den of thieves.’
In her Daily Beast article, Wolkoff repeated earlier criticisms of the first lady, calling her an ‘extension’ of her husband who was there to ‘soften his image’ instead of leaving her own legacy.
‘Melania is no better than Donald is in terms of needing attention,’ according to Wolkoff.
‘She wasted a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to create a platform to make a difference in the lives of so many children and didn’t provide any of that.
‘She was just there as an extension of Donald, used to “soften’ his image, highlight his showmanship, and smile for the cameras.
‘In her free time she took up “albuming” and made scrapbooks filled with photographs of herself.
‘Melania is simply an extension of her husband, just as hypocritical, speaking out of both sides of her mouth, when it suits her best.’
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