Former first lady Melania Trump issued a statement Wednesday denouncing a disloyal former aide and one-time friend who secretly recorded her conversations and leaked them to the media.
She also took a shot at the mainstream media for failing to tell the full story about what she said in what were supposed to be private exchanges.
The statement was published on Trump’s Instagram and Twitter accounts.
— MELANIA TRUMP (@MELANIATRUMP) September 21, 2022
The former first lady rarely releases statements responding to the media or otherwise.
But as Breitbart reported Wednesday, her statement came as she is launching a line of personalized Christmas ornaments and Christmas-themed digital art pieces in the form of non-fungible tokens.
According to Fox News, a portion of the proceeds from the products will go to support Trump’s Be Best initiative, which “secures education opportunities and scholarships for children in the foster care community.”
Wednesday’s statement was aimed at dispelling any lingering impressions from Trump’s leaked conversations with Stephanie Wolkoff, a former aide and friend of 15 years who turned on the Trumps and published a book called “Melania and Me: The Rise and Fall of My Friendship with the First Lady.”
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The release of the book in September 2020, and the recordings — played on CNN during a Wolkoff interview with Anderson Cooper in October 2020 — created a pre-election Christmas smear, in which Melania was depicted as viewing the holiday through a cynical political lens.
The recordings of the 2018 conversations were also used to depict Trump as using her White House Christmas preparations as an excuse to avoid the then-raging issue of illegal immigrant children being separated from their parents while in federal custody.
“I’m working like a — my a** off at the Christmas stuff that, you know, who gives a f*** about Christmas stuff and decoration. But I need to do it, right?” she said on the recording.
“And then I do it and I say that I’m working on Christmas, planning for the Christmas. And they say, ‘Oh, what about the children? That they were separated.’ Give me a f***ing break.”
Wolkoff’s 2020 interview with Cooper is below:
“The jacket was… a publicity stunt, and it was to garner the attention of the press, to make sure that everyone was aware that Melania was going to the border.”
Melania Trump’s former friend, Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, on the infamous “I really don’t care. Do U?” jacket. pic.twitter.com/sCJAAAcvBf
— Anderson Cooper 360° (@AC360) October 2, 2020
As with most things Trump-related, the reporting of the story of the recordings was badly skewed.
In the exchange, Trump wasn’t disparaging Christmas at the White House. She was pushing back against the mainstream media’s tendency to level partisan criticism against herself and the Trump administration arbitrarily, predicting that anti-Trump news organizations would alternatively focus on illegal alien minors and White House Christmas decorations for political purposes.
Wednesday’s statement gave Melania’s side of the story, years after Wolkoff’s betrayal.
“I will personally set the record straight because the mainstream media has failed to provide context for these misleading exchanges,” Trump said in the statement.
“Christmas is an important time for me, my family, and the American people, and my devotion to the holiday is personal and profoundly serious.”
The Slovenian-born former model shot down attempts to accuse her of lacking in Christmas spirit as cynical, opportunistic allegations.
Trump accused Wolkoff of attempting a hit-piece on her by selectively editing the conversation.
“Most people will agree that reuniting migrant children with their parents is more important than discussing Christmas decorations during summertime,” she said.
“The fact that Wolkoff deleted this part of our conversation, where I expressed hope to reunite families split apart at the southern border, exposes her malicious intent.”
Melania responded to Wolkoff’s betrayal in full in her latest statement. Her aide released a supposedly tell-all book tailor-made for anti-Trump liberal audiences in 2020, timed months before the presidential election.
“Wolkoff is untrustworthy,” the statement concluded. “Her contract with the First Lady’s Office was terminated in February 2018, and she was later charged with violating the confidentiality clause of her White House Employment Agreement.”