Melania’s ex-friend Blast’s Trump’s Family

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Melania's ex-friend Blast's Trump's Family
Melania's ex-friend Blast's Trump's Family

Melania’s ex-friend Blast’s Trump’s Family

An ex adviser and close friend of first lady, Melania Trump‘s has blasted Trump’s entire family as a callous entity moulded by “deceit” and “deception,” and asserting she’s still “working with investigators” to dig into potential financial crimes committed in tiles with Donald Trump‘s inauguration in early 2017.

“It was impromptu hour then, and it’s impromptu hour now, and I think it’s really agitating for our country,” Stephanie Winston Wolkoff said in an exclusive interview with ABC News’s Linsey Davis, a day before the launch of her new book, “Melania and Me: The Rise and Fall of My Friendship with the First Lady.”

“Everyone ought not to know what … this presidency is doing and what this propaganda machine behind this man at the White House is doing,” she added.

Melania’s ex-friend Blast’s Trump’s Family

Winston Wolkoff refused to ascertain or deny reports lately that she secretly recorded discussions with Melania Trump and even captured the first lady disparaging the president’s older children.

In her book, Winston Wolkoff wrote that Melania once illustrated that  Ivanka Trump and family members that are working in the White House are a bunch of “snakes.”

“I’m not in the right state to talk about whether there’s audio or not,” Winston Wolkoff said. But, she insisted, “I can defend everything written in the book 100% … and Donald and Melania are aware of that.”

Stephanie Grisham, Melania Trump’s chief of staff and spokeswoman, termed Winston Wolkoff’s book a collection of “mistruths” and “revenge” tactics, saying, “Anybody who secretly tapes their self-described best friend is, by definition, dishonest.”

Melania’s ex-friend Blast’s Trump’s Family

A known planner of gala events for Vogue magazine and clients of her own consulting firm, Winston Wolkoff said she has known Melania Trump as a close friend for more than a decade. She started working for the Trump team in late 2016, first as a senior adviser to help “produce” Trump’s inauguration and then, after the inauguration, as an unpaid adviser to Melania Trump.

Going by at least in part by later comments from Winston Wolkoff about her time working on the inauguration, local and federal investigators started examining and scrutinizing millions of dollars in allegedly excessive and inexplicable expenditures.

“I’m working with three different prosecutors, and it’s taken over my life,” she told ABC News, pointing to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of New York and local attorneys general in New Jersey and Washington, D.C.

She refused to provide ABC News with materials, including documents, to assist any of the claims pointed out in her book or interview.

Melania’s ex-friend Blast’s Trump’s Family

Ignoring Winston Wolkoff’s specific allegations, Trump’s inaugural committee said in a statement to ABC News that it “refutes with [her] description of this historic event,” adding that it “will ignore to engage in her ability to sell books.” A White House spokesman similarly accused Winston Wolkoff of attempting to “profit off lies and mischaracterizations meant to hurt the First Family.”

‘Stabbed me in the back’

The inaugural committee, a private tax-exempt organization, raised nearly $107 million in donations and spent $104 million of that on the event, the most ever for an inauguration — twice as much as President Barack Obama‘s first. The money not spent — totaling about $3 million — was reportedly donated to charity.

As Winston Wolkoff recalled, she was blindsided when, more than a year after the inauguration, The New York Times reported that Trump’s inaugural committee had paid her event-planning firm more than $26 million, sparking headlines around the world suggesting she had personally pocketed all or much of that money.

Melania’s ex-friend Blast’s Trump’s Family

Those unfair claims made her into “the cover girl for the inauguration shenanigans,” she wrote in her book.

In fact, according to her account, $26 million was the total fee paid to a company she formed with two others to manage the inaugural planning. Almost all of that money was then transferred to an outside company hired to produce a series of inaugural events.

Of the remainder, $1.62 million was paid to Winston Wolkoff’s personal firm, but — after payments to the firm’s employees — she says she only received a fraction of that sum.

Winston Wolkoff said that for all of her Trump-associated efforts, including “three months of work — 24 hours a day, seven days a week — working on the presidential inauguration,” she “made” $480,000. In the year after the inauguration, she worked as an unpaid adviser to Melania Trump at the White House, but that ended in February 2018.

In her book, Winston Wolkoff said she was also dumbfounded by what Melania Trump‘s spokeswoman told the New York Times around the time of her departure: that “the first lady ‘had no involvement’ with the inaugural committee ‘and had no knowledge of how funds were spent.'”

Melania’s ex-friend Blast’s Trump’s Family

That was “complete and utter horses–t!” Winston Wolkoff wrote, asserting that Melania Trump was immensely engaged in inauguration planning and personally approved a minimum of some expenditures.

“Melania knew it all, every detail, including who was screwing around [and] the sort of salmon served at the Candlelight Dinner,” consistent with the book.

In her interview with ABC News, Winston Wolkoff she said she “begged” the first lady to publicly make clear that she did not personally receive anywhere close to $26 million and that Melania Trump had known about the inaugural expenditures.

“As the time come for her to go back and discuss the reality, a few friend that left everything behind to support her, she betrayed me … stabbed me in the back,” she said.

The first lady’s spokeswoman pushed back, saying Winston Wolkoff’s book is “clearly based on some imagined need for revenge.”

Melania’s ex-friend Blast’s Trump’s Family

She builds herself up while belittling and blaming everyone she worked with, yet she still managed to play the victim,” Grisham said in a statement.

According to Winston Wolkoff, after her plea for public support, White House officials told Melania Trump to remain silent because “there were going to be possible investigations into the presidential inauguration financing.”

Indeed, multiple investigations ensued, at least partly because of Winston Wolkoff herself.

The recording offered federal authorities at least one new angle to pursue.

According to Winston Wolkoff, she started to realize there could be a problem with the committee’s expenditures “when I saw that a tree you could buy for $10 was $1,000, or a stage that would cost $100,000 was $1 million.”

Melania’s ex-friend Blast’s Trump’s Family

“There were numerous people involved,” she said.

In January, the attorney general for the District of Columbia filed a lawsuit that alleges the inaugural committee spent over $1 million at the Trump International Hotel as part of a scheme “to make the Trump family rich.”

In a press release at the time, Attorney General Karl Racine said his examination found that Winston Wolkoff had focused on the pending expenditures beforehand with the president-elect himself and Ivanka Trump as well, but they ignored them.

The Justice Department has subpoenaed records from the inaugural committee, but it’s not clear whether ongoing federal investigations may stand.

An exasperated Winston Wolkoff told ABC News that — while so much concern has focused on the money paid to the firm she cofounded — the emphasis should be on how the rest of the nearly $107 million that was raised by the inaugural committee was spent.

Melania’s ex-friend Blast’s Trump’s Family

“That should be the major concern of everyone ,” she said.

Winston Wolkoff said she didn’t have the final authority to approve most of the event’s expenditures, but she did acknowledge signing off on some steep items, including “$130,000 Tiffany crystal bowls” purchased as gifts for guests to an inaugural dinner hosted by Melania Trump.

Melania Trump approved the procurement of those bowls, with regards to Winston Wolkoff.

‘Friction, suspicion, deceit, deception’
“We shared a lot over 15 years,” Winston Wolkoff said of Melania, recalling how they first met in 2003 when she worked at Vogue, where the up-and-coming model “Melania Knauss” — Trump’s girlfriend at the time — often would find herself.

In her interview with ABC News, as in her book, Winston Wolkoff painted the Trump White House as a place driven with “palace intrigue” and “filled with friction, suspicion, deceit, deception.”

Melania’s ex-friend Blast’s Trump’s Family

Especially the relationship between Melania Trump and her stepdaughter Ivanka, with reference to Winston Wolkoff, who quotes Melania calling Ivanka “the Princess.”

Ivanka Trump also tried to “take over” offices in Melania Trump’s part of the White House, Winston Wolkoff told ABC News, remembering how one day she started pasting labels on office doors to stop Ivanka Trump’s team from trying to claim them.

“I pulled out a red Sharpie and yellow Post-Its … and I just started marking up, ‘communications,’ ‘chief of staff,'” she said.

Although Winston Wolkoff told ABC News she now feels totally “betrayed” by Melania Trump, she said she was always expressed how she admires Melania’s “strength” and “doesn’t-matter-what-anybody-else-thinks” attitude.

“Her confidence shows a day ,” and she or he “provides you that confidence,” Winston Wolkoff said.

Melania’s ex-friend Blast’s Trump’s Family

She accounted what she termed Melania Trump’s bizarre reaction on the day — a month before the 2016 election — that news outlets began broadcasting behind-the-scenes recordings from “Access Hollywood” when her husband gleefully talked about sexually assaulting ladies.

Meeting Melania Trump for lunch that day, at her friend’s request, Winston Wolkoff said she expected to find someone “in tears.”

That wasn’t the case.

“She was amazing, she was smiling,” Winston Wolkoff said. “It was as if nothing happened.”

“I said to her, ‘How repeatedly have you ever heard the words ‘p—-‘ and ‘president’ within the same sentence?’ and that we burst out laughing,” she said, describing the outburst as tension relief. “She knows who she married. … She knew what she was getting into, and so did he.”

Melania’s ex-friend Blast’s Trump’s Family

Winston Wolkoff laid emphasis that at the time of their lunch, she was unaware that other women would be accusing Donald Trump of sexual assault.

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