Each year, it's tradition that the First Lady of the United States orchestrates the White House holiday decorations and then unveils the results to the public. For the last three years, First Lady Melania Trump has done just that, putting her own spin on the process as with last year's "The spirit of America" theme. But evidently her view of this responsibility is...not entirely enthusiastic.
On Thursday, Anderson Cooper spoke with Melania Trump's former best friend (and onetime senior advisor), Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, whose book Melania and Me: The Rise and Fall of My Friendship with the First Lady was released last month. During their friendship, Wolkoff had secretly recorded phone conversations between her and the First Lady. Last night, for the first time ever, the tapes were released on air during an episode of CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360.
"The jacket 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."— Anderson Cooper 360° (@AC360) October 2, 2020
Melania Trump's former friend, Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, on the infamous "I really don't care. Do U?" jacket. pic.twitter.com/sCJAAAcvBf
In one phone call from July 2018, Trump had vented to Wolkoff about how people were saying she was complicit with her husband’s child border separation policy. "...they say I'm complicit. I'm the same like him. I support him. I don't say enough."
She continued: "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?" she asked Wolkoff, referring to the holiday decorating process, to which Wolkoff responded, "100% you have no choice."
The First Lady continued, "OK and then I do it and I say that I'm working on Christmas planning for the Christmas... and they said 'oh what about the children who were separated?' Give me a f***ing break,."
For the remainder of the call, Trump explained to Wolkoff that she was trying to get kids reunited with their parents but it needed "to go through the process and the law."
After listening to the recording, Cooper noted “that it’s so interesting to see her being hostile towards decorating the White House for Christmas.” Indeed, both the President and the First Lady have themselves been critical of a so-called "war on Christmas" in the past, making Melania's remarks somewhat ironic.
Stephanie Grisham, the First Lady's Chief of Staff, commented on the tapes released by Wolkoff. "Her [Wolkoff's] only intent was to secretly tape the First Lady in order to peddle herself and her salacious book. There is no way to know if these recordings have been edited and it’s clear the clips were hand-picked and presented with no context. The First Lady remains focused on her family and serving our country," Grisham wrote in an email to HollywoodLife.
Last year, First Lady Melania Trump’s "The spirit of America” theme consisted of mostly white and green holiday decor in order to pay tribute to Americans who have shaped the country.
In 2018, she opted for an “American Treasures" theme in which the White House’s long hallway was lined with a series of brightly colored red trees.
During Trump's first Christmas in the White House, the theme was “Time-Honored Traditions,” which paid tribute to Christmas traditions from around America and customs from White House Christmases past.
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