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Melania Trump and Ivanka Trump‘s apparent icy relationship is being corroborated in Stephanie Winston Wolkoff‘s upcoming memoir, Melania and Me: The Rise and Fall of My Friendship with the First Lady. Winston Wolkoff was a close friend and advisor to the First Lady in the East Wing, before her controversial exit from the White House in 2018. An excerpt from the book — set for release on September 1 — alleges that Melania and Ivanka’s tumultuous relationship began around Donald Trump‘s January 2017 inauguration.
“It was Donald’s inauguration, not Ivanka’s,” writes Winston Wolkoff in an excerpt featured in New York magazine‘s Intelligencer. “But no one was brave enough to tell her that. Melania was not thrilled about Ivanka’s steering the schedule and would not allow it,” she writes, noting that Melania was “[not] happy to hear that Ivanka insisted on walking in the Pennsylvania Avenue parade with her children.”
Winston Wolkoff goes on to detail her “petty” attempt with Melania to keep Ivanka — whom the First Lady allegedly nicknamed “Princess” — out of prominent photo opportunities during Inauguration Day. Winston Wolkoff even claims that her alliance with Melania had its own name: “Operation Block Ivanka.”
“Melania was in on this mission,” the former Vogue executive claims. “But in our minds, Ivanka shouldn’t have made herself the center of attention in her father’s inauguration.”
Winston Wolkoff explains that Ivanka had texted her an image of former President Barack Obama on his swearing-in day, in which he was surrounded by family. Ivanka’s text allegedly read: “It is nice to have family with him for this special moment.” — That’s when Winston Wolkoff and Melania’s “Operation Block Ivanka” began, the author writes.
As part of their plan, Winston Wolkoff claims they went as far as to rearrange the Trump family‘s standing positions during the ceremony, to ensure that Melania and her stepdaughter weren’t placed near each other. As for how the duo orchestrated their plan? — Wolkoff writes that a source provided her with sketches of the inauguration seating plan. The sketches, along with Winston Wolkoff’s knowledge of camera locations, aided in their attempt to keep Ivanka out of key moments during the inauguration.
In the forthcoming memoir, Winston Wolkoff also writes about Ivanka’s alleged attempts to take over the East Wing — most of which she claims were ignored. Additionally, Melania & Me details the women’s friendship, Winston Wolkoff’s time serving as an informal adviser, and her controversial exit from the White House. Melania & Me will publish on September 1.