Melania Trump’s ex-friend says she attended 'her nuptials' after FLOTUS claims they ‘hardly knew each other’
Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, the author who penned a tell-all book on Melania Trump claiming she had a 15-year friendship with her, has responded to the First Lady's comments that they "hardly knew each other." Wolkoff's response came Saturday, two days after Trump broke her silence on the former's book 'Melania and Me: The Rise and Fall of My Friendship with the First Lady' - which paints an unflattering image of the first lady. “I find it puzzling that the First Lady of the United States asked someone she ‘hardly knew’ to attend her nuptials, join her for countless lunches, help plan the presidential inauguration, stay over at the White House and Mar-a-Lago, and act as her senior advisor,” Wolkoff said in a statement obtained by The Daily Beast.
According to Wolkoff, she wrote the book “to share with the public my experience of working with Melania, our fifteen-year friendship, and her ultimate betrayal.”
"This portrait is not all flattering but it’s the truth and Americans deserve the truth about the occupants of the White House,” said Wolkoff, who was once an aide to Trump and even attended her 2005 wedding to the future president.
The first lady lashed out at Wolkoff in a strongly-worded statement published on the White House's website on Thursday. "A person who said she 'made me' even though she hardly knew me, and someone who clung to me after my husband won the Presidency," the statement read, in part. "This is a woman who secretly recorded our phone calls, releasing portions from me that were out of context, then wrote a book of idle gossip trying to distort my character. Her 'memoir' included blaming me for her ailing health from an accident she had long ago, and for bad news coverage that she brought upon herself and others. Never once looking within at her own dishonest behavior and all in an attempt to be relevant. These kinds of people only care about their personal agenda — not about helping others," the statement added.
She then attacked mainstream media for focusing on her alleged relationship with Wolkoff more than reporting on her achievements in the 'Be Best' campaign. "Once again, outlets chose to focus their coverage on pettiness over my positive work. There are plenty of opportunists out there who only care about themselves, and unfortunately seek to self-aggrandize by knowingly taking advantage of my goodwill. Anyone who is focused on tearing things down for their own gain, after knowing what I stand for, has lost sight of what we are here to accomplish and who we are here to serve. To push forward a personal agenda that attempts to defame my office and the efforts of my team, only takes away from our work to help children," Melania wrote.
Published last month, Wolkoff's book made unverified claims about the first lady's relationship with first daughter Ivanka Trump, her official duties, as well as her views about the children of illegal immigrants at the southern border.
Earlier this week, the Department of Justice sued the author for allegedly breaking a non-disclosure agreement and failing to submit a draft to the government for review before publishing the book. According to the lawsuit, Wolkoff had “access to significant confidential information related to the First Lady’s official duties as well as to more private aspects of her role in the First Family.”