First Lady Melania Trump is facing criticism after making less than complimentary remarks regarding migrant children and the Christmas holiday. During a July 2018 phone conversation, former aide Stephanie Winston Wolkoff taped the first lady openly complaining about her work within the administration.
“I’m working like a — my [expletive] off at Christmas stuff,” she told Wolkoff.
“You know, who gives a [expletive] about Christmas stuff and decoration?”
As the conversation progresses, the first lady shifted her attention towards the criticism being hurled at her husband, President Donald Trump, for his handling of migrant children. The President has been accused of throwing kids in cages and maliciously separating them from their parents. Earlier that month, criticism had only increased after Vice President Mike Pence visited a facility for migrant families in Texas.
“I say that I’m working on Christmas planning for the Christmas, and they said, ‘Oh, what about the children?’ That they were separated," she said.
“Where they were saying anything when Obama did that?”
Later on in the phone call, the former model and businesswoman expressed discomfort with being compared to the President. She goes as far as to imply that she does not support or condone his actions.
“They say I’m complicit. I’m the same like him. I support him. I don’t say enough. I don’t do enough,” she added.
The conversations were secretly taped by Wolkoff and released not long after her new book, Melania and Me. The newly released recordings were first aired on CNN and sent shockwaves through the White House. Quick to respond, Melania Trump's Chief of StaffStephanie Grisham claimed that Wolkoff simply released the recordings in an attempt to increase sales of her book.
"Her only intent was to secretly tape the first lady in order to peddle herself and her salacious book,” Grisham said.
“There is no way to know if these recordings have been edited, and it’s clear the clips were handpicked and presented with no context. The first lady remains focused on her family and serving our country.”
Somehow, the newly released recordings did not end up being the biggest story of the day. Just hours after Wolkoff released tapped conversations between herself and the first lady, Melania and Donald Trump tested positive for COVID-19. The couple is now quarantined in the White House for approximately two weeks. All of their future in-person events have been postponed for the time being.
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