In the months following her family’s messy exit from the White House, the former first lady spent her time in hiding at Trump’s clubs in Mar-a-Lago and Bedminster with her family, sometimes appearing alongside her husband. Although the former president is widely seen as acting out of political interest, those close to him say his wife could have an impact on his decision to resume the grueling and very public role of candidate.
“The only thing Trump cares about these days is golf and Melania. And if she doesn’t want him to run away, then it’s going to push a big boulder up the hill, ”said a person close to Trump. “I don’t think politics is his thing. She doesn’t like the game.
Ever since the Trumps descended the Trump Tower escalator to announce a race in 2016, Melania Trump has been a hard-to-read partner in her husband’s political maneuvers. She rarely appeared during the election campaign and, as the first lady, remained largely out of public sight.
The perception created by her private nature – that she did not actually approve of her husband’s conduct – has been contradicted by the few occasions she has appeared. She wore an “I REALLY DON’T CARE” jacket as she went to a detention center that held young migrant children. And she was secretly recorded by her former confidante Stephanie Winston Wolkoff saying “who gives a damn about Christmas stuff and decorations” in 2018.
The end of her husband’s term underlined her unease with the national political scene. According to her former chief of staff Stephanie Grisham, Melania Trump spent part of election night 2020 asleep as her husband worried about vote counts and network coverage as he snuggled up with advisers at the White House.
“I hit several times, soft at first but harder with each attempt,” Grisham wrote, according to new material for his upcoming book titled “I’ll Answer Your Questions Now: What I Saw a la Trump White House “. “I finally opened the bedroom door to find Melania Trump was sound asleep.”
Melania Trump and Grisham had been to former President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club the night before. They got up late to prepare for election night and got up early to vote, then returned to Washington, DC. But Grisham was still surprised that she went to bed.
“I now knew how much sleep meant to her, but still couldn’t imagine being asleep at a time like this,” she wrote. “Maybe she thought someone would wake her up if Trump won.”
Melania Trump finally woke up and was on stage with her husband in the East Room at 2:30 a.m. as he falsely said he won the election and was being stolen from her because of the fraud. A spokesperson for Melania Trump has not commented on the new excerpts from the book. Another former White House aide understood that the former first lady “took a nap” because the night had to be late.
On Monday morning, POLITICO Playbook released the first excerpt from Grisham’s book, in which Grisham urged Melania Trump to condemn the January 6 riots on Capitol Hill as they began, but she refused to do so in one word: “No”.
In response, Melania Trump’s office issued a statement accusing Grisham of trying to “redeem himself after a poor performance as a press secretary, failed personal relationships and unprofessional behavior in the White House.”
His mention of “failed personal relationships” struck many in Trump World as offensive, given Grisham’s two divorces and his past relationship with former Trump aide Max Miller, currently a candidate for Congress. Citing three people familiar with the incident, POLITICO magazine reported in July that Miller’s relationship “ended when he pushed her against a wall and slapped her in the face in his Washington apartment after she was killed. she accused him of having cheated on her “. Miller denied the allegation.
It is unprecedented for former first ladies to engage in public fights with their former main collaborators who write revealing books. And this is made all the more remarkable by Melania Trump’s silence outside of the current feud. The former first lady has not appeared in public or used her fame to continue to speak about her causes in the East Wing. A former White House official said she was focusing on her son and his family.
“She’s gone completely off the radar screen,” said a person close to Trump. “She’s not seen anywhere.
Melania Trump’s reluctance and withdrawal into private life contrast with the former first ladies of the past. In her first year after leaving the White House, Michelle Obama criticized the Trump administration for relaxing nutritional standards for school lunches and accused the Trump White House of spreading fear before writing a memoir to success. Laura Bush also hit the book circuit after leaving the White House while Hillary Clinton won a Senate election at the end of her husband’s second term, becoming the first person to serve as both a senator and first lady during two weeks in early 2001.
The few moments Melania Trump has spoken out have largely been confined to the social media post. She took to Instagram and Twitter to mark the anniversary of September 11, saying she “prayed for the families and loved ones of the sea heroes killed in Kabul and for all who are suffering during this difficult time” and wishes Americans a happy july 4th. .
And in recent months, she has battled with prominent presidential historian Michael Beschloss, saying he had “Proved his ignorance by showing a picture of the rose garden in its early days. … His misleading information is dishonorable and he should never be trusted as a professional historian. In mid-July, she also tweeted a warning people to be wary of what they read about it. “How can people believe one of the books about Mrs. Trump’s life? Stories about him are empty gossip, many of which are misleading, and only some are the truth. Writers have no credibility.
A former White House official has expressed a wish for Melania Trump to take up causes such as convincing Trump voters to get the coronavirus vaccine instead of fighting against herself.
“It makes me sad that since she still has a platform as a former first lady to do good things,” the former official said, “especially in encouraging people to get vaccinated, at the instead, she just complained about what people say about her. “