Melania Trump's thank-you notes to White House staff were ghostwritten 'in her voice', she just signed them

It is a tradition for first ladies -- and occasionally presidents as well -- to write cards or short letters of gratitude to members of the residence staff in the White House


                            Melania Trump's thank-you notes to White House staff were ghostwritten 'in her voice', she just signed them
Former First Lady Melania Trump in the State Dining Room of the White House on September 14, 2020 in Washington, DC (Getty Images)

Former first lady Melania Trump did not write her own "thank you" notes to White House residence staff, who have looked after her and her family during the four years of Donald Trump's presidency. On the morning of Wednesday, January 20, Trump and his wife left the White House before Joe Biden's inauguration as the 46th President of the country and went to their residence in Palm Beach, Florida. According to CNN, which cited two sources with knowledge of the notes and Melania's handling of them, the former first lady did not write them, instead tasking a lower-level East Wing staffer with writing the notes "in her voice." Melania reportedly just signed her name on the notes given to 80 odd staff members who received them with the assumption that Trump had written them herself. 

It is a tradition for first ladies -- and occasionally presidents as well -- to write cards or short letters of gratitude to members of the residence staff in the White House, especially the ones they get to know very well. The correspondence often includes personal anecdotes and the letters are regarded as "cherished keepsakes" for the residence staff, according to CNN's source. Certain White House staff such as butlers, cooks, housekeepers, ushers, and maintenance workers do not typically turn over with each administration and may have been working at the White House for a decade or more. 

Former President Donald Trump and former First Lady Melania Trump acknowledge supporters at Joint Base Andrews before boarding Air Force One for his last time as President on January 20, 2021, in Joint Base Andrews, Maryland (Getty Images).

CNN also noted that Melania had "checked out" and "just wanted to go home" after Donald Trump's loss in November, adding that she was "not sad to be leaving" Washington and the White House. CNN also reports that she exited the White House with the lowest favorability rating of her tenure as the first lady. 47 percent of the people polled have an unfavorable view of Melania - more than at any point during her term as the first lady.

Following the 2020 Presidential elections in November 2020, while her husband rallied his supporters to question the authenticity of the results, repeating baseless claims of voter fraud, Melania was rarely seen in public, participating in only five public events since election day in 2020, including the turkey pardon for Thanksgiving, the arrival of the White House Christmas tree, a political rally in Georgia, the annual Toys for Tots gift event, and the story-reading at Children's Hospital. CNN also reported that Melania Trump oversaw the packing and shipping of her belongings for her family's departure from the White House for two months.

According to The New York Times, society publicist R. Couri Hay believed that Melania was "a reluctant First Lady" who took on the role "for her husband." The publicist said, "I think that you will find that she will be even less visible, and less available [after she leaves Washington]."

Meanwhile, Kellyanne Conway said of Melaniap, "As First Lady, she was fully engaged, but not overexposed. There remains a curiosity and a mystery about her." Conway also told The New York Times that Melania would be remembered warmly.

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