Former Melania Trump aide claims the first lady called Ivanka and Jared ‘snakes’, reigniting feud rumours

‘We called [Ivanka] the serial poacher,’ Stephanie Winston Wolkoff says about her time working for Mrs Trump

Danielle Zoellner
New York
Saturday 19 December 2020 19:20

Stephen Colbert attacks Melania Trump’s plans post-Christmas

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A former aide to Melania Trump has revealed more details into the alleged feud between the first lady and Ivanka Trump, which included the president’s daughter and Jared Kushner being called ‘snakes’. 

Stephanie Winston Wolkoff served as a confidant and adviser to Mrs Trump in the beginning days of her time in the White House. But Ms Wolkoff has since left the Trump administration and released a tell-all book titled Melania and Me: The Rise and Fall of My Friendship with the First Lady.

Now, more details have been revealed about the relationship between Mrs Trump and her daughter-in-law about the first days of the Trump administration.

“Melania didn't come to DC that week, but Ivanka stayed and Donald stayed there,” Ms Wintson said on the latest episode of The Daily Beast’s podcast The New Normal.

“And all of a sudden, that's the weekend, Donald signs the immigration, what was it called? The ban. Yes. Ivanka shows Finding Dory. Now, if you couldn't be more tone-deaf. Children were being separated from their parents. And here you're screening a film where again, this trout fish is being separated from its mother.”

Ms Wolkoff was referring to Donald Trump’s controversial executive order banning the entry of illegal immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries, which he issued on 29 January, 2017. Around that time, Ivanka was reportedly organising movie screenings, Ms Wolkoff said, prior to her later being tapped as a senior adviser to Mr Trump. 

Host Molly Jong-Fast asked the former aide if Ivanka was “dumb” or “evil” based on that decision.

Ms Wolkoff responded: “I think it's a mixture. I really do. I think that Ivanka is Donald in a suit, right? All of the Trumps are taught to be Trumps. They don't show emotion. A Trump is a Trump because they are authentically and unapologetically skin deep, and also self-serving. And their attitudes and disrespect for each other is, again, you have to get inside to see it,”

Previous reports have indicated that Ivanka attempted to undermine Mrs Trump's role in the White House by eyeing the East Wing for herself and other members of Mr Trump’s family. Ivanka suggested renaming the “First Lady’s Office” to “First Family Office”, according to the biography The Art of Her Deal, which was about Mrs Trump.

Ms Wolkoff reaffirmed the alleged divide between Mrs Trump and Ivanka, adding that the first daughter was referred to as a “serial poacher” because of her commitment to overstep on the first lady’s East Wing appointments.

“So [Ivanka] impinged on Melania's duties while overstepping her rank and boundaries. And I mean that in a sense like she poached individuals that were for the East Wing, that we were vetting to have—Kayleigh McEnany, Mercedes Schlapp,” Ms Wolkoff said.

"I mean, these were people Melania was looking to bring in. We called [Ivanka] the serial poacher. It was deceptive. But you don't go and hire people that the first lady's looking to bring in,” she said.

The first lady referred to Ivanka and her husband, Jared Kushner, as “snakes, Ms Wolkoff said, because “they’ll do anything to get what they want.”

Mr Kushner holds a close relationship to the president, and has worked in the White House as a senior adviser since the start of the Trump administration.

Where Ivanka and her husband end up post-January once Mr Trump leaves office remains up in the air, but reports have indicated they have no plans to reside at the president’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida – where Mrs Trump is expected to reside.

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