As we discussed last week, there’s a new book out about Melania Trump called The Art of Her Deal: The Untold Story of Melania Trump. The book “reveals” that Melania stayed in New York for months in 2017 after her husband went to the White House because she was renegotiating her prenup/postnup finances and playing hardball. Melania’s chief of staff issued a statement about the book, saying: “Yet another book about Mrs. Trump with false information and sources. This book belongs in the fiction genre.” Yeah, I don’t know, I think everything about the Trump administration belongs in the Dystopian Apocalypse genre, personally. Anyway, the Washington Post had an even bigger excerpt from the book with additional details, so here we go:
She didn’t believe her husband would win: Other first ladies have found the sudden adjustment difficult as well, and Melania, a careful planner, likes to take her time doing things. No matter how intense the pressure during the campaign, she refused to be hurried. The election night win came as a surprise even to Trump, according to many on his campaign, and little preparation had been done for what came next. Trump had even talked about going to one of his golf courses in Scotland immediately after the election so he didn’t have to watch Hillary Clinton bask in her success. One campaign aide recalled that candidate Trump had “told the pilot [of his private jet], ‘Fuel up the plane.’ ”
She wanted to take her time in New York: Melania wasn’t prepared to move to Washington, either. It did not help that the campaign revelations of Trump’s alleged serial infidelities still stung. She learned many of the reported details along with the entire nation. While she very much wanted Barron to finish his academic year in New York and not be yanked from his friends, staying in New York also bought time to prepare for her new role as first lady. She needed her own staff. Trump’s staff had already pushed back on her desire to focus on online bullying, and there was huge interest in what she might do. And, according to several people close to the Trumps, she was in the midst of negotiations to amend her financial arrangement with Trump — what Melania referred to as “taking care of Barron.”
All of Trump’s wives have renegotiated their deals: Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements are as standard as wedding rings in Trump’s marriages. His first wife, Ivana, renegotiated hers three times; Marla, who separated from Trump after four years of marriage, walked away with such a relatively small sum that even a Trump lawyer said he felt she should have gotten more. Trump wrote about prenups and boasted about them and said any rich man who didn’t have one was “a loser.” During the presidential campaign, Melania felt that a lot had changed since she signed her prenup. She had been with him a long time — longer than any other woman. She believed she made crucial contributions to his success. There was talk that Trump likely wouldn’t return to overseeing the Trump Organization after running the country, and Melania wanted to ensure that Barron got his rightful share of inheritance, particularly if Ivanka took the reins of the family business. While she sorted out her plans as first lady and a new school for her son, she also worked on getting her husband to sign a more generous financial deal for her and Barron. It was smart timing.
I actually didn’t realize that Trump’s other wives had renegotiated their arrangements and honestly? It makes sense that Melania was keeping her eye on her own interests and Barron’s interests. I would *almost* admire it, had she not cost American taxpayers $125,000 a day for her New York stay in 2017. The book also details the tricky relationship between Melania and Ivanka – Ivanka assumed the “first lady” role in the early months of the presidency, then Melania pushed her out:
While Melania stayed in New York, Ivanka continued to establish herself in the West Wing, notorious for its cramped and limited working spaces. According to several people, she was eyeing real estate in the East Wing as well, the domain of the first lady. Among other proposals, Ivanka suggested renaming the “First Lady’s Office” the “First Family Office.” Melania did not allow that to happen. It was tradition, and she was not going to let her stepdaughter change it.
…Especially in the first two years of the administration, some in the White House felt that the West Wing was actively putting up roadblocks and purposely not lending support to the first lady’s office. But others believed that it was just an oversight in the chaos. Ivanka is both especially close to her father and spent far more time around him than his other children. Not only did father and daughter work closely at the Trump Organization but she also had played a key role in his campaign, and now was the child with the most active role inside the White House. With Melania away, Ivanka used the private theater, with its plush red seats, and enjoyed other White House perks. Some said she treated the private residence as if it were her own home. Melania did not like it. When she and Barron finally moved in, she put an end to the “revolving door” by enforcing firm boundaries.
The rest of the excerpt is about how much Donald Trump actually values Melania, and how he respects the fact that she’s not playing some angle with him or trying to “get famous” or write a book about him. Melania doesn’t chime in about most of the daily newscycles, but they say that if she doesn’t like a particular staffer, that person is OUT. Blah. Basically, this should end the “Poor Melania” vibe – while she is probably deeply unhappy, she’s also a racist Birther who cosigns nearly everything about her horrible husband’s agenda. And she only gives a sh-t about herself and Barron. And there’s still a Fauxlania somewhere.
Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Backgrid.