Melania Trump was so uncertain of herself in the aftermath of husband Donald’s shock election victory that she told staff not to use her new title, a new book has claimed.
‘She said, “Stop calling me first lady,”‘ one of the people who worked with her after the election told author Mary Jordan.
Jordan writes that neither Melania nor her husband expected to win in November 2016, with Donald musing about spending the post-election weeks licking his wounds in Scotland, and instructing the pilot of his private jet to ‘fuel up the plane’.
‘The Art of Her Deal: The Untold Story of Melania Trump,’ by Washington Post reporter Mary Jordan, ‘draws an unprecedented portrait of the first lady’ based on interviews with more than 100 people in five countries.
Out on Tuesday, excerpts from the 286-page book appeared in The Washington Post on Friday.
The book details how Melania was reluctant to embrace the role, partially out of a dislike of media scrutiny and public performance, and partially out of anger at the stories during the campaign of her husband’s numerous infidelities.
Trump has denied any cheating.
Reports of his affair with Stormy Daniels appeared in October 2018 and, after they appeared, Melania abruptly canceled her plans to join Trump in Davos for its annual conference.
She spent the first six months of Trump’s presidency in New York, at home in Trump Tower with their son, Barron, who was 10 when his father was inaugurated.
Jordan writes that Melania used that time to negotiate a better pre-nup for herself and to ensure, in writing, that Barron would be treated equally with his much older siblings Don Jr, Ivanka, Eric and Tiffany.
She also wanted Barron to remain in New York, with his existing friends and finish his school term.
She was forced to reconsider, Jordan writes, when it became clear how costly and disruptive Barron’s school routine was for the city.
‘Simply getting Barron to his classes unleashed massive traffic problems around his school, Columbia Grammar and Preparatory School on Manhattan’s Upper West Side,’ Jordan writes.
‘Many of the other parents were busy, wealthy people and some began to seethe over the disruption and inconvenience, including delayed drop-offs and pickups and being told to “hold” for Melania and Barron.
‘Parents also worried about the safety of their own kids, even with the constant presence of the Secret Service.
‘Not to mention that many of them were progressive New York Democrats who had voted for Hillary Clinton and couldn’t stand Trump.’
Security costs for Melania and Barron were running at $125,000 a day, the New York Police Department said.
Melania’s office has described the book as ‘fiction.’
‘Yet another book about Mrs Trump with false information and sources,’ said Stephanie Grisham, the first lady’s chief of staff, in a statement to DailyMail.com.
‘This book belongs in the fiction genre.’
Jordan describes Melania as focused, ruthless and ambitious – leaving friends behind once she had moved on to a new portion of her life, whether that was a modeling career that led her from Milan, Italy to New York City or her marriage to the business mogul that took her to the White House.
She ‘would seize an opportunity and put great effort into it. Then she would move on and never look back,’ Jordan notes.
Melania, the nation’s second immigrant first lady – the first was Louisa Adams – has kept a low profile during her tenure compared to other women who have occupied the role, particularly in modern times.
She has done few sit-down interviews and her signature initiative, Be Best, uses existing government and business structures to promote its pillars of kindness, well-being and online safety.
She keeps her East Wing staff small and her portion of the White House is famous for its lack of leaks and the loyalty of her staff.
During the coronavirus pandemic, she reacted faster than her husband to contain it, ordering her staff to telework and to wear masks when inside the complex.
She has encouraged Americans to keep up social distancing and wear face masks.
She worn one herself on Marine One although she has not been photographed wearing one openly in public.
But she has had her share of controversies, including the time she wore a jacket that read ‘I REALLY DON’T CARE, DO U?’ in June 2018 on her way to Texas to visit migrant children separated from their families.
She also underwent surgery for a benign kidney condition in May 2018, disappearing from the public eye for nearly a month, sparking many rumors and speculation about her health.
Melania has said her role model is Jackie Kennedy, another famously shy first lady, known more for what she wore than for what she said.
But friends tell Jordan the Trumps genuinely love one another and have a strong marriage, despite sleeping in separate bedrooms and keeping separate schedules.
Melania Knauss and Donald Trump married on January 22, 2005 at the Episcopal Church of Bethesda-by-the-Sea in Palm Beach, Florida.
They held their reception at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate.
It was Trump’s third marriage and her first.
His marriage to Ivana Trump lasted 15 years and his marriage to Marla Maples last six years.
Melania has outlasted them all.