‘Melania & Me’ book excerpts reveal battle between first lady and Ivanka Trump
Excerpts highlight Operation Block Ivanka, a joint effort between first lady best friend Stephanie Winston Wolkoff and Melania Trump to keep Ivanka from being positioned too close to her father during the inauguration’s swearing-in ceremony.
Excerpts from ”Melania and Me,” Stephanie Winston Wolkoff’s tell-all about former best friend and first lady Melania Trump, surfaced in advance of the memoir’s Sept. 1 publishing date.
The passages, as revealed in New York Magazine and Britain’s The Guardian newspaper, reveal the depth of the infighting between Melania and husband President Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka. They highlight Operation Block Ivanka, a joint effort between Wolkoff and Melania to keep Ivanka from being positioned too close to her father during the inauguration’s swearing-in ceremony.
Published by Gallery Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, the memoir will cover the origins of Wolkoff and the first lady’s friendship in New York City, detail the event planner’s work planning the presidential inauguration and address Wolkoff’s hasty exit from her senior advisor role to the first lady in February 2018, according to the publisher’s description.
Here’s what we know about “Melania & Me” so far through the excerpts:
In Wednesday’s exclusive excerpt in New York Magazine, Melania reveals her nickname for Ivanka, “Princess,” while discussing her future move to D.C. following Trump’s election. The passages feature Melania discussing logistics for the move.
“It’s being arranged,” she explained. “I’ll have someone.”
“You’ll only have one person?” I asked. “How many does Ivanka have?”
“Who?” Melania said. “You mean Princess?!” We both bellied over with laughter.
Ivanka continues to seek a larger role in her father’s January 2017 inauguration, to Melania’s annoyance, kick-starting Operation Block Ivanka. The book details:
Neither was she happy to hear that Ivanka insisted on walking in the Pennsylvania Avenue parade with her children.
Ivanka texted me a photo of Barack Obama’s swearing-in, his hand on the Bible, Michelle, Malia, and Sasha standing to his left. She wrote, “FYI regarding the swearing in. It is nice to have family with him for this special moment.”
Instead, Melania and I launched Operation Block Ivanka to keep her face out of that iconic “special moment.”
To pull off Operation Block Ivanka, a source provided Wolkoff with sketches of the inauguration seating plan. From these sketches, and known camera locations, the detailed plan was worked out to keep Ivanka from appearing in a decent camera angle during key moments.
The memoir states:
We were all exhausted and stressed out. Yes, Operation Block Ivanka was petty. Melania was in on this mission. But in our minds, Ivanka shouldn’t have made herself the center of attention in her father’s inauguration.
After the inauguration, a friend “texted a photo she’d taken of the screen showing Melania’s head completely blocking Ivanka’s. ‘Happy MT blocked IT!’ 😂😂😂,” according to the excerpts.
The battle turn into turf wars during the White House transition and beyond. “Ivanka wasn’t playing by the rules, but she never, ever, got in trouble,” the memoir states. This was epitomized by a Jan. 24 email sent from Ivanka’s assistant at the Trump Organization that stated Ivanka would use a new email with a family domain, not a government one.
Can you say “private server”?
Ivanka was asking her work contacts at the White House to write to her at her private email — the exact offense the Trumps had lambasted Hillary Clinton for during the general election. Would anyone chant “Lock her up!” about Ivanka’s private server? Doubtful. The email thing was hypocritical, to say the least. But the Trumps made their own rules.
The Aug. 25 Guardian account details Melania discussing her husband’s alleged extramarital relationships. Wolkoff quotes the first lady as saying “I know who I married” and insisting her first priority is her son, Barron.
The newspaper reveals an account of Melania’s fury over a leak about a family White House screening of Pixar’s “Finding Dory” while protests raged over Trump’s first travel ban against some Muslim-majority countries.
“Ivanka’s fingerprints were all over it,” Wolkoff writes, adding that a furious first lady sent “a tirade of texts asking who approved Ivanka Trump – a White House staffer – to use the screening room, which was part of the residence, aka Melania’s domain.”
“This is my home,” Wolkoff says the first lady told her. “Do they come walking into my apartment in New York whenever they want? No!”
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