Secretly recorded phone calls released by First Lady Melania Trump's former senior adviser Stephanie Winston Wolkoff reveals scathing audio of the first lady's frustration at criticism she received for her husband's 2018 immigration policies that separated over 2,800 families at the southern border, according to reports.
The tapes, which were first aired on CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360" Thursday evening, reportedly date back to 2018 phone calls between Wolkoff and Trump –– who during the conversations also expressed her frustrations with her more traditional tasks like decorating the White House for Christmas. The former East Wing adviser, who was hired as a speech-writer and for helping create the "Be Best" platform, recently wrote a tell-all book about her relationship with the first lady titled, "Melania and Me."
"When I first started taping Melania, I had already left the White House and had already been accused of a criminal crime," Wolkoff told Anderson Cooper during an interview on CNN, referencing documents that claim Wolkoff’s firm was paid $26 million, although most went to subcontractors –– but about $1.6 million went to her firm business. Wolkoff personally received $500,000 for her role inauguration, Vanity Fair first reported. The Times also reported that Wolkoff has been cooperating since last fall with federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York in Manhattan who are investigating the committee's spending and fund-raising. This set Trump and Wolkoff's relationship onto a downward spiral.
"They cannot stand him. They know that I'm with him," Melania Trump said in a July 2018 recording.
"But [the public] felt badly for you before," Wolkoff replied.
Correct. All that is Bulls*** stuff. All that stuff came out. They feel bad for me, my polls went up. They said 'oh my god she's amazing. She's fantastic," the first lady said. "They say I'm complicit. I'm the same like him, I support him. I don't say enough I don't do enough where I am."
The First Lady complained that she was being criticized for not speaking up about the border crisis because she was "working her a** off" performing duties at the White House, specifically involving Christmas decorations.
"Who gives a f*** about Christmas stuff and decoration? But I need to do it, right?" the first lady said. "Ok, and then (sic) I'm working on the Christmas planning and they said, 'oh what about the children that were separated?' Give me a f****** break. Where they were saying anything when Obama did that?"
The first lady was referencing a policy under former President Barack Obama, which had children separate from parents only when authorities had concerns for their well-being or could not confirm that the adult was in fact their legal guardian, CNN reported. This, however, was not a blanket policy as it was under Trump's administration.
Melania Trump then said, "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."
She then references "liberal media," claiming that platforms other than Fox News would not cover the story.
"They would not do the story. We put it out. They would not do the story. You would not believe it. They would not do the story. Because they are against us because they're liberal media. Yeah, if I go to Fox they will do the story. I don't want to go to Fox."
"All these kids that I met they were, they're here in the shelters because they were brought by in through coyotes. The people who were trafficking and that's why they put them in jail. And the kids that they go in shelters. And the way they take care of them (sic) the kids, they said, 'wow I'll have my own bed. I will sleep on the 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."
She continued, "They are taking care-- nicely there. But you know yeah. They're not with their parents, it's sad but when they come here alone or with coyotes or illegally you need to do something. They don't want to stay in Mexico because Mexico doesn't take care of them the same as America does."