Melania Trump has responded to a leaked tape in which she complained about being criticised over her husband's policy of separating children from their parents at the southern US border.
"Secretly taping the first lady and willfully breaking an NDA to publish a salacious book is a clear attempt at relevance," Ms Trump's chief of staff Stephanie Grisham told CNN in a statement.
"The timing of this continues to be suspect - as does this never-ending exercise in self-pity and narcissism."
The tape was recorded by Ms Trump's former confidant and aide Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, and played by CNN's Anderson Cooper on Thursday night.
Ms Wolkoff recently published a tell-all book about her relationship with Ms Trump, with whom she had a falling out before leaving the White House.
In the tape, allegedly recorded without her knowledge, Ms Trump can be heard saying “give me a f***ing break.”
She and Ms Wolkoff had apparently been discussing the fallout from the president's controversial policy to separate families at the border.
Ms Trump took the decision to visit the border in an apparent effort to show compassion, something she claimed the previous Obama administation had not done.
However, she appears to have been upset that the media did not cover the visit positively, and complained about having to decorate the White House.
"I’m working like a – my ass off at Christmas stuff that you know, who gives a f*** about Christmas stuff and decoration? But I need to do it, right? Correct?" she can be heard saying.
"OK, and then I do it. And I say that I’m working on Christmas planning for the Christmas. And they said, ‘Ooh what about the children, that they were separated?’ Give me a f***ing break."
Ms Trump went on: “Were they were saying anything when Obama did that?”
“I was trying to get the kid reunited with the Mom. I didn’t have a chance. Needs to go through the process and through the law.”
Sounding close to tears, the first lady adds: "They would not do the story. 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.”
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