First Lady Melania Trump responded to a book from a former aide on Friday, saying it contained “dishonest” and “salacious claims.”
“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,” Trump wrote. “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. ”
Melania Trump wrote on the White House website that the aide “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.” She didn’t mention the aide by name, but was referring to Stephanie Winston Wolkoff.
“Her ‘memoir’ included blaming me for her ailing health from an accident she had long ago, and for bad news coverage that she brought upon herself and others,” the first lady wrote. “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.”
Wolkoff’s book attempted to paint an unflattering portrait of the first lady. Wolkoff said she recorded conversations with Melania and she played them for news outlets during a book tour.
Melania also touted her Be Best work, which promotes wellbeing, online safety, and is against drug abuse.
Earlier this week, the Department of Justice filed a lawsuit against Wolkoff, saying she violated a nondisclosure agreement.
“The United States seeks to hold Ms. Wolkoff to her contractual and fiduciary obligations and to ensure that she is not unjustly enriched by her breach of the duties she freely assumed when she served as an adviser to the first lady,” the DOJ complaint stated (pdf).
They alleged that Wolkoff did not submit a draft of her book, “Melania and Me: The Rise and Fall of My Friendship with the First Lady,” for a government review before it was published.
The agency noted that Melania Trump and Wolkoff sealed a “Gratuitous Services Agreement” related to “nonpublic, privileged, and/or confidential information” that she might obtain during her service. A copy of the agreement has the following clause: “I shall not disclose the contents of this Agreement, or my work with FLOTUS and OFL, to any person or entity to whom disclosure has not been authorized in writing by FLOTUS, the Chief of Staff to the First Lady or the Office of the White House Counsel.”
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