They’re the two most important women in Donald Trump’s life. And they absolutely loathe one another.
Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, the former Melania Trump confidant and author of Melania and Me: The Rise and Fall of My Friendship with the First Lady, spills the tea on the latest episode of The New Abnormal, starting with the very first days of the administration.
“Melania didn't come to D.C. that week, but Ivanka stayed and Donald stayed there. And all of a sudden, that's the weekend, Donald signs the immigration, what was it called? The ban. Yes. Ivanka shows Finding Dory. Now, if you couldn't be more tone-deaf. Children were being separated from their parents. And here you're screening a film where again, this trout fish is being separated from its mother.”
“Is that because Ivanka is dumb or is that because Ivanka is evil?” Molly Jong-Fast asks.
“Listen, I say it as it is. I think it's a mixture. I really do. I think that Ivanka is Donald in a suit, right? All of the Trumps are taught to be Trumps. They don't show emotion. A Trump is a Trump because they are authentically and unapologetically skin deep, and also self-serving. And their attitudes and disrespect for each other is, again, you have to get inside to see it,” Wolkoff answers.
And Wolkoff does indeed go inside, accusing Ivanka of purposefully boxing Melania out at every turn.
“So [Ivanka] impinged on Melania's duties while overstepping her rank and boundaries. And I mean that in a sense like she poached individuals that were for the East Wing, that we were vetting to have—Kayleigh McEnany, Mercedes Schlapp. I mean, these were people Melania was looking to bring in. We called [Ivanka] the serial poacher. It was deceptive. But you don't go and hire people that the First Lady's looking to bring in,” Wolkoff adds. “The princess wanted to render Melania irrelevant. And you know, Melania refers to them as ‘snakes,’ Jared and Ivanka, and they'll do anything to get what they want. And they do.”
Maybe none of this would’ve been that big of a deal—if Ivanka had been the mastermind she played on TV. But, uh, she wasn’t.
"What was particularly galling, not only to us but also to Melania, was that Ivanka and Jared were no more qualified to be engaged in any governing of the country than she was. Not that any of us that had never held those positions,” Wolkoff continues. “So to hear Ivanka put her name in the same sentence, as working with [former White House Chief of Staff] General [John] Kelly, it's like, 'Oh my God, how could you even?' Who would do that? Who would just be so disrespectful to say something like that? And think I she genuinely thinks it and believes it."
This is part one of a two-part talk with Wolkoff. Part two airs next week—and includes previously-unheard tapes of Wolkoff and Melania.