In late August, Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, a former longtime friend of Melania Trump, told journalist Yashar Ali that she had secretly recorded conversations of the first lady making “disparaging remarks” about husband Donald Trump and stepdaughter Ivanka Trump. On October 1, Wolkoff released numerous of those audiotapes while speaking with CNN’s Anderson Cooper.
In one of the recordings from July 2018, Melania Trump, 50, complains to Wolkoff, “I’m working my a** off on the Christmas stuff … that you know, who gives a f*** about Christmas stuff and decorations, but I need to do it, right?”
“Okay, and then I do it,” the first lady continues, “and I say I’m planning for Christmas. And they said, ‘Oh, what about the children that they were separated?’ Give me a f****** break. Where they were saying anything when Obama did that?”
“I cannot go,” an exasperated Melania Trump says. “I was trying to get the kid reunited with the Mom. I didn’t have a chance. Needs to go through the process and the law.”
“Who gives a fuck about Christmas stuff and decoration? But I have to do it.” – First Lady Melania Trump pic.twitter.com/PFyk0tUtlm
— Edward-Isaac Dovere (@IsaacDovere) October 2, 2020
Wolkoff replies to Trump, “But here’s my thing. Hear what you just said? But instead of that – if you… you just… your messaging. You were so loved. You were…”
“They will not do the story,” Trump interjects. “We put it out. They would not do the story. You would not believe it. The would not do the story because they’re against us. They’re liberal media. Yeah, if I go to Fox, they will do the story. I don’t want to go to Fox.”
Shortly after CNN aired the audio recordings, the hashtag “#MelaniaTapes” started trending nationally on Twitter.
Melania Trump Explains Why She Wore the ‘I Really Don’t Care. Do U?’ Rain Jacket & Says Children Separated From Parents ‘Are Treated Nicely’ in Shelters
In another taped conversation between Trump and Wolkoff, she asks the first lady what prompted her to wear the highly controversial green rain jacket that read, “I really don’t care. Do U?” while visiting children separated by their families at the Texas border in June 2018.
Trump says, “I’m driving liberals crazy, that’s for sure. And that… you know, that’s – and they deserve it. You understand? And everybody’s like ‘Oh my god, this is the worst!’ After, I mean. Come on. They are crazy, okay?”
It is October. But is this a surprise?
— Philmonger (@phillipmbailey) October 2, 2020
While speaking about the children she met while at the Texas border, Trump explains to Wolkoff that “they’re here in the shelters because they were brought by it through coyotes. The people who were trafficking.
“And that’s why they put them in jail. And the kids that they go in shelters… They [kids] even said, ‘Wow, I’ll have my own bed. I will have a cabinet for my clothes.’ It’s so sad to hear it,” but “they didn’t have that in their own countries… they are taken care nicely there.”
Wolkoff Released the Audio Tapes to Promote Her New Tell-All Memoir on CNN
In Wolkoff’s tell-all book, Melania and Me: The Rise and Fall of My Friendship With the First Lady, which was released on September 1, she details the crumbling of their 15-year friendship and why she left her role as the first lady’s senior advisor in February 2018. Wolkoff’s book also promises to describe Trump’s reaction to the infamous Access Hollywood tape in which her husband bragged he could “just grab” women “by the p****.”
The description of Melania and Me from publisher Gallery Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, reads in part: “In her memoir, Wolkoff chronicles her journey from their friendship that started in New York to her role as the First Lady’s trusted advisor to her abrupt and very public departure, to life after Washington, being an advocate for children’s and women’s causes.”
So when did Wolkoff and Trump stop being friends? Wolkoff’s book description claims that their relationship “all fell apart when she was made the scapegoat for inauguration finance irregularities. Melania could have defended her innocent friend and confidant, but she stood by her man, knowing full well who was really to blame. The betrayal nearly destroyed Wolkoff.”