Melania and Trump's marriage was 'transactional' as they 'legitimized' each other, says first lady's ex friend

Stephanie Winston Wolkoff dismissed rumors that the first lady is a victim and wanted a divorce from the president

                            Melania and Trump's marriage was 'transactional' as they 'legitimized' each other, says first lady's ex friend
(Getty Images)

A former aide of First Lady Melania Trump has described the first couple's marriage as a "transactional" one. Stephanie Winston Wolkoff dismissed rumors that the first lady was a victim and wanted a divorce from President Donald J. Trump.  "I do believe it is a transactional marriage," Wolkoff told BBC Newsnight. "Donald got arm candy, the Vogue cover legitimized Melania which legitimized Donald as well, and Melania got two dynamic decades."

"She was a young model, she was striving, she didn't have the success yet. She met Donald, she married, she had a son, she became an American citizen and 10 years after that, she is the first lady of the United States," she continued. "So I do believe it was a magic moment and I also believe it was a made-for-TV moment."

Lincoln Center fashion director Stephanie Winston Wolkoff attends the Project Runway Spring 2012 fashion show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at The Theater at Lincoln Center on September 9, 2011, in New York City. (Getty Images)

There have been several tabloid pieces and books written about the president, with the majority of them painting the Trumps in a bad light. However, Winston Wolkoff's book 'Melania and Me: The Rise and Fall of My Friendship with the First Lady' is being touted as the first insider look at the mysterious first lady. The president's wife reportedly keeps a tight rein over her allies as well as her image, per the New York Times.

Wolkoff first met the future first lady in 2003, when she was still Melania Knauss. At the time, the author was working at Vogue, whose editor Anna Wintour crafted a debut in New York society for the future Mrs. Trump. The former supermodel eventually appeared on the magazine's cover in February 2005. Fast forward to 2017, Wolkoff was placed in charge of Trump's presidential inauguration. The author was subsequently accused of profiting excessively from the event, which is when she started taping her private conversations with the first lady. Now, the pair are no longer on speaking terms.

Melania Trump is the most popular Republican figure, with a recent Morning Consult poll placing her ahead of the president. Meanwhile, her RNC speech focusing on racial unity was also among the most acclaimed at the event.

U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump depart the White House for Baltimore, Maryland on May 25, 2020, in Washington, DC. (Getty Images)

Melania Trump's chief of staff and spokesperson Stephanie Grisham said in a previous statement that Wolkoff's book is "not only wildly self-aggrandizing, it's just not truthful." "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," she said.

And in a statement to The Washington Post, Grisham suggested Wolkoff's book was "revisionist history" that was written "based on some imagined need for revenge."

"Anybody who secretly tapes their self-described best friend is not only dishonest, they're deceitful," she declared.

Last week, Melania Trump took to Twitter and criticized "delusional & malicious gossip" -- likely referring to Wolkoff's remarks to the media. "This afternoon I will be hosting a roundtable with some incredible citizens in recovery & the amazing organizations that support them. I encourage the media to focus & report on the nation's drug crisis, not on delusional & malicious gossip," the first lady tweeted Thursday.


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