Melania Trump has apparently been secretly recorded making “harsh” comments about her husband and step-daughter.
Ms Trump’s former friend, confidante and White House staffer, Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, is releasing a tell-all memoir about their relationship and life in the “chaotic” Trump White House.
Melania and Me: The Rise and Fall of My Friendship with the First Lady is said to feature contents of a recorded conversation in which Ms Trump trash-talks Donald and Ivanka.
The book will also discuss Ms Trump’s reaction to a number of key events, including the infamous Access Hollywood tape in which Mr Trump made comments about grabbing women’s bodies without consent.
Another controversial event said to be relayed is the reasoning behind Ms Trump’s decision to wear the infamous ‘I don’t really care’ jacket when visiting a detention centre.
The book, which will be released on September 1, will also examine her response to rumours that Mr Trump had an affair with porn star Stormy Daniels.
It is not yet clear exactly what Ms Trump said in the tapes or why they were recorded in the first place.
This comes days after another recording was shared of Mr Trump’s sister, Maryanne Trump Barry, making disparaging comments about his lack of principles.
The tapes were recorded in 2018 by Mr Trump’s niece, Mary Trump, whose book Too Much and Never Enough was released in July.
“All he wants to do is appeal to his base,” Maryanne Trump said.
“He has no principles. None!
“It’s the phoniness of it all. It’s the phoniness and this cruelty.
“His goddamned tweet and lying, oh my God.”
The friendship between Ms Trump and Ms Wolkoff began more than 15 years ago, long before Mr Trump’s bid for presidency.
At the time, Ms Wolkoff was the producer of the Met Gala and director of special events for Vogue, and Ms Trump was a socialite.
Later, Ms Trump would go on to hire Ms Wolkoff to assist with Mr Trump’s inauguration and serve as her informal adviser and speechwriter.
According to the book’s description, their close connection allowed Ms Wolkoff to have “a front-row seat to the transformation of Donald Trump’s then-girlfriend from a rough-cut gem to a precious diamond”.
But the friendship soured in February 2018 amid a federal investigation into the Inaugural Committee spending.
Ms Wolkoff claims she was betrayed by the Trumps and scapegoated for controversial financial irregularities that severely affected her career.
“Melania could have defended her innocent friend and confidante, but she stood by her man, knowing full well who was really to blame,” the description read.
“The betrayal nearly destroyed Wolkoff.”
The princess and the portrait …
Ms Wolkoff isn’t the first author to describe the strained relationship between Ms Trump and her stepchildren.
Mary Jordan’s book, The Art of Her Deal: The Untold Story of Melania Trump, details the friction and power struggle between the FLOTUS and Ivanka, particularly during the weeks following Mr Trump’s inauguration.
Ms Trump was reportedly concerned that while she had been in New York with son Barron, Ivanka had attempted to paint herself as a pseudo-First Lady in her absence.
One source of tension between the women stemmed from Ivanka’s proposal to rename the First Lady’s Office in the East Wing of the White House to the ‘First Family Office’.
“Melania did not allow that to happen,” Ms Jordan wrote.
“It was tradition, and she was not going to let her stepdaughter change it. Ivanka’s office remained in the West Wing.”
But the hostility dates back long before the Trumps moved into the White House, with the two women reportedly having disparaging nicknames for one another for many years.
“Melania has been overheard referring to Ivanka as ‘The Princess’,” Ms Jordan wrote.
“Ivanka, when younger, called Melania ‘The Portrait’ because she spoke as often as one.”