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The Biggest/Weirdest/Most Infuriating Takeaways From Melania Trump’s Former Best Friend’s Memoir

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 04: First Lady Melania Trump attends an event on the South Lawn of the White House on July 04, 2020 in Washington, DC. President Trump is hosting a "Salute to America" celebration that includes flyovers by military aircraft and a large fireworks display. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

It’s a big summer for insider exposés on the Trump family. John Bolton put everything he should have told Congress during the impeachment hearings into his book. Too Much and Never Enough, the excellent memoir from Donald Trump’s niece Mary outsold the latest Hunger Games installment. Sarah Huckabee Sanders has a book coming out next week that no one seems to have heard anything about until today.

It’s not just Donald Trump people have stories about, though. Stephanie Winston Wolkoff was Melania Trump’s longtime friend and senior advisor until she was let go with accusations that she had wrongly directed more than $25 million in inauguration funds back into a nonprofit she herself created. At the time, Wolkoff defended her work on the inauguration and denied that this was the reason she was let go. She went on to actively participate in investigations into inaugural spending.

And now she’s making everything public. Her book, Melania and Me, was released this week. Here are the biggest and best bits revealed in reviews so far.

Melania is fed up with Ivanka.

According to Wolkoff, Melania Trump isn’t a fan of how big a role Ivanka wanted to play in the inauguration, going so far as to launch “Operation Block Ivanka” to keep her out of the spotlight. Melania was reportedly pissed at Ivanka’s desire to be in the official family portrait, walk in the Pennsylvania Ave. parade, and “steer the schedule” of the day.

The two friends worked to keep Ivanka’s “face out of that iconic ‘special moment,’” to the point of coordinating her seating around the planned camera angles.

“Free Melania” was B.S.

At Trump’s inauguration, there was a moment when Melania smiled at her husband and then went stone-faced as he turned his back, leading a lot of people to believe she hated him as much as the rest of us.

And while that may be true, the narrative that developed of Melania needing to be saved was ludicrous. Not only has she proven herself time and time again to be willfully complicit in her husband’s awful, oppressive reign, but according to Wolkoff, that moment at the inauguration wasn’t even about him. Baron just accidentally kicked her and she was trying not to react.

This face, though, reacting to Ivanka? Well, that might just be exactly what it looks like.

Melania loves emojis.

This isn’t a big deal, obviously. It’s just strange to hear that a person who so rarely shows any emotion on her face fills her texts “strings of happy and sad faces and hearts galore,” per the New York Times.

She refused to move into the White House until the Obamas’ toilets were replaced.

I don’t even have anything to add to that.

Donald Trump doesn’t care about denying transgender people their rights, he just does it to make Mike Pence happy.

Wolkoff says Melania couldn’t understand why her husband felt the need to weigh in on the transgender bathroom issue. According to Wolkoff, Donald Trump told her, “I didn’t need to get involved. I could have let the Supreme Court deal with it. But it was very important to Mike.”

Similarly, Wolkoff says Donald Trump planned to lift the ban on importing big-game hunting “trophies” to make his leopard-killing sons happy. And it was reportedly Melania who got him to reverse course on that one.

Melania’s jacket was honest.

Remember the jacket Melania wore to visit kids in detention centers? The one that tastelessly read “I Really Don’t Care, Do U?” Well, as Wolkoff describes her, Melania really doesn’t care about anything. Not the constant criticism from the media, not Donald Trump’s affairs, not anything.

“The secret to her happiness is to be authentically and unapologetically skin-deep,” writes Wolkoff. “Her behavior hasn’t changed from her pre-first lady days; she’s just more visible now.”

She sounds just like her husband.

Just to drive home how misplaced all that “Free Melania” fawning empathy was, a lot of the quotes from Wolkoff’s book—many of which are from phone conversations Wolkoff told Rachel Maddow she recorded in order to protect herself—make Melania sound just like her husband. In regard to things like the reaction to that awful jacket, Melania apparently basked in knowing she was “driving liberals crazy,” saying “they deserve it.”

She defended the border camps and her husband’s child separation policies, swearing those kids are happy just to have a bed, even after they’ve been separated from their families and locked in a cage. “Did Michelle Obama go to the border? She never did. Show me the pictures!” she reportedly said because apparently Donald isn’t the only Trump obsessed with his predecessor.

(via NYT, USA Today, Vanity Fair, image: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

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Vivian Kane (she/her) has a lot of opinions about a lot of things. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri with her husband Brock Wilbur and too many cats.