Melania Trump on Friday blasted her ex-friend Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, who wrote a tell-all book about her relationship with the first lady, saying the author “hardly knew me” and was “trying to distort my character.”
Winston Wolkoff should be “looking within at her own dishonest behavior,” Trump wrote.
The statement from the publicly guarded first lady comes after the Justice Department this week took the extraordinary step of filing suit against Winston Wolkoff over “Melania and Me: The Rise and Fall of My Friendship with The First Lady,” a New York Times bestseller that was released six weeks ago.
Trump did not mention Winston Wolkoff by name, but the details in the statement, which was framed as promoting the first lady’s Be Best initiative, left little doubt as to whom she was referring.
“BE BEST has one simple purpose — to help children,” Trump wrote. “It serves to provide the tools children need to prepare them for their futures,” but “more often than not, information that could be helpful to children is lost in the noise made by self-serving adults. I have most recently found this to be the case as major news outlets eagerly covered salacious claims made by a former contractor who advised my office.”
The first lady described Winston Wolkoff as a “person who said she ‘made me’ even though she hardly knew me, and someone who clung to me after my husband won the presidency. This is a woman who secretly recorded our phone calls, releasing portions from me that were out of context, then wrote a book of idle gossip trying to distort my character.”
Trump said that Winston Wolkoff blames her in the book “for bad news coverage that she brought upon herself and others. Never once looking within at her own dishonest behavior and all in an attempt to be relevant. These kinds of people only care about their personal agenda — not about helping others.”
Winston Wolkoff, a longtime friend of Trump’s who worked as an unpaid adviser for her in the White House, wrote the book after she felt the first lady had thrown her under the bus following questions about spending for President Donald Trump’s inauguration. Winston Wolkoff was one of the organizers of the inaugural events along with billionaire Tom Barrack and deputy campaign chairman Rick Gates. Spending for the inauguration later became the subject of an investigation by federal prosecutors in Manhattan and a lawsuit by Washington, D.C.’s attorney general.