Melania Trump caught on tape talking about row over children separated at border: ‘Give me a f***ing break’

First Lady says she wanted to help reunite children with their mothers but was stopped by ‘process’

Phil Thomas
New York
Friday 02 October 2020 07:45 BST
Melania Trump caught on tape talking about row over children separated at border
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Melania Trump has been heard on tape talking about criticism she faced over children separated from their parents at the border in a recording played by CNN’s Anderson Cooper.

The First Lady can be heard saying: “Give me a f***ing break.”

The tapes were recorded by Ms Trump’s former friend and aide Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, who has published a book about their time together, Melania and Me: The Rise and Fall of My Friendship with the First Lady.

In the recordings, apparently made without her knowledge, Ms Trump can be heard saying: "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?

"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.

“Where they were saying anything when Obama did that?”

She goes on to say that she had wanted to get children back with their families but had been unable to.

“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 appears to complain that her efforts did not get any media coverage. "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.

US First Lady Melania Trump departs Andrews Air Rorce Base in Maryland June 21, 2018 wearing a jacket emblazoned with the words "I really don't care, do you?" following her surprise visit with child migrants on the US-Mexico border. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN / AFP) (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)

“Yeah, if I go to Fox they will do the story. I don’t want to go to Fox.”

Her reference to Barack Obama echoes her husband’s claim that his predecessor in the White House was responsible for the policy of separating children from their parents at the border and that he had ended it. In an interview last year with Telemundo he said: “I inherited separation, and I changed the plan and I brought people together.”

However, the policy was rarely used under the Obama administration and is believed to have been ramped up under Mr Trump as part of a zero-tolerance policy spearheaded by his then attorney general, Jeff Sessions.

Speaking on CNN, Ms Wolkoff also addressed the First Lady’s controversial decision to wear a jacket saying “I really don’t care, do you?” on a trip to visit migrant children on the southern border.

Ms Wolkoff said: “The jacket was a means to an end. It was a publicity stunt and it was to garner the attention of the press, to make sure that everyone was aware that Melania was going to the border.

“And I think it meant a lot, just like it means a lot to Donald, that he had something over Barack Obama – Michelle Obama, Melania claimed, never went to the border either.”

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