Melania’s former pal, Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, is sharing what she claims the First Lady really thinks of her husband’s immigration policy.
If you purchase an independently reviewed product or service through a link on our website, we may receive an affiliate commission.
Melania Trump, 50, defended the treatment of migrant children held in shelters, while separated from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border, her former best friend claims.
In her new book, Melania and Me: The Rise and Fall of My Friendship with the First Lady, Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, 50, claims that Mrs. Trump spoke to her candidly about the situation, which is the direct result of her husband’s immigration policy.
Ms. Wolkoff says the First Lady made her comments days after she was slammed for wearing a jacket with the words, “I really don’t care. Do u?” on them, as she flew out to visit migrant children held at a shelter in McAllen, Texas.
“They all went crazy about the zero-tolerance policy at the border. But they don’t know what’s going on,” the author claims Mrs. Trump told her in June 2018. “The kids I met were brought in by coyotes, the bad people are trafficking, and that’s why the kids were put in shelters. They’re not with their parents, and it’s sad.”
Mrs. Trump reportedly added, “But the patrols told me, the kids say, ‘Wow, I get a bed? I will have a cabinet for my clothes?’ It’s more than they have in their own country where they sleep on the floor. They are taking [sic] care nicely there.”
Ms. Wolkoff claims the First Lady went on to justify the separation by saying, “And the mothers, they teach their kids to say, ‘I’m going to be killed by gangs!’ so they are allowed to stay. They are using that line and it’s not true. They don’t want to stay in Mexico because Mexico doesn’t take care of them the same as America does.”
HollywoodLife reached out to Mrs. Trump’s spokesperson, Stephanie Grisham, for comment. “This book is not only wildly self-aggrandizing, it’s just not truthful,” she told us. “It is an exercise in bizarre twisting of the truth and misguided blame for the sake of self-pity. It’s unfortunate and concerning that she’s overstated their friendship and her very brief role in the White House to this degree.”
Ms. Wolkoff went further. Speaking about the asylum seeking families who were being detained and separated at the border, she claims Mrs. Trump allegedly told her, “What about taking care of our people?… Many children in the United States are hungry. And now we’re taking care of someone else’s children? It’s crazy!”
Nevertheless, the Trump administration has been widely criticized – not just for detaining the children and separating them from their parents – but the conditions in which the minors are held. “So many children are sick, they have the flu, and they’re not being properly treated,” Elora Mukherjee, director of the Immigrants’ Rights Clinic at Columbia Law School, told The New York Times in June 2019 after visiting a border station in Clint, Texas.
Melania and Me is a window into Ms. Wolkoff’s 15-year close friendship with the First Lady, whom she knew before her 2005 wedding to Donald Trump, then a New York businessman and reality TV star.
In late 2016 the author – who spent nearly a decade organizing the annual Met Gala – was brought onboard to help the Trump family and team with the then President-Elect’s January 2017 inauguration.
She later became a senior advisor to the First Lady. But her tenure at the White House was mired in scandal when The New York Times alleged that Trump’s inaugural committee paid her $26 million, a claim that she has denied.
Ms. Wolkoff complains in the book that her former friend never publicly defended her. “When it really counted, Melania wasn’t there for me,” she writes. “She wasn’t really my friend. In fact, I wish I had never met her.”
Melania and Me: The Rise and Fall of My Friendship with the First Lady goes on sale on Sept. 1.