Melania Trump's former best friend to write tell-all book about the first lady

Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, a close friend of Melania Trump and a former adviser to the East Wing, will release a memoir detailing her friendship with the first lady this fall.

It's the latest in a spat of book about President Donald Trump, the first lady and the administration. The publishing date for the tell-all by Mary Trump, the president's niece, was moved up two weeks due to high interest in the book, which the Trump family tried to stop from being published.

 The administration also tried and failed to stop former National Security Adviser John Bolton from releasing his tell-all about his time in the White House.

Wolkoff's 'Melania and Me: My Years as Confidant, Advisor and Friend to the First Lady' will be released on September 1, according to Vanity Fair.

It promises a 'revealing and explosive portrayal of Stephanie Winston Wolkoff's fifteen-year friendship with Melania Trump and observations of the most chaotic White House in history,' according to a summary posted on Google books.

And 'people with knowledge of the project say that the content of the book is largely negative, and that the manuscript heavily trashes' Melania, the Daily Beast reported.

It is the second book about the notoriously private first lady to come out this fall. Mary Jordan's 'The Art of Her Deal' provided an in-depth biography of Melania and included details about how she renegotiated her prenup after Donald Trump won the 2016 election, addressed the plastic surgery rumors, and detailed Melania's relationship with Ivanka Trump, Donald Trump's eldest daughter.

Winston Wolkoff - a New York socialite who had previously helped plan the Met Gala - served as an informal, unpaid adviser to Melania Trump in the East Wing of the White House until February 2018 when she left the position amid controversy.

She was in the news at the time after reports showed that her firm, WIS Media Partners, received a $26 million payment for its work on the inaugural.

The firm in turn spent $24 million on subcontractors, a person familiar with the inaugural planning told at the time. The source said Winston Wolkoff provided 'the whole look and feel – the creative vision' for 18 or 20 inaugural events.

Her personal take from Trump's inaugural committee was reported to be $1.62 million although later reports showed she received about $500,000 personally while the rest went to other producers working on the event.

According to the committee's tax filings, Wolkoff's WIS Media Partners was formed 45 days before the inauguration and got paid the most of any vendor for its work.

Melania Trump dismissed her from the East Wing with an email. 'I am sorry that the professional part of our relationship has come to an end, but I am comforted in the fact that our [friendship] far outweigh[s] politics,' the first lady wrote in the email. 'Thank you Again! Much love.'

Wolkoff told the New York Times last year she wasn't fired - but she was thrown under the bus.

'Was I fired? No,' Winston Wolkoff said in a statement to The Times. 'Did I personally receive $26 million or $1.6 million? No. Was I thrown under the bus? Yes.'

The Southern District of Manhattan is investigating the inaugural committee's spending and fundraising. Wolkoff was reported to be working with prosecutors.

Winston Wolkoff was Melania Trump's first hire.

Before she took over her inaugural event planning role, she worked as a special events planner for Vogue, helped stage the Met Gala, and was a fashion director for Lincoln Center. She is a longtime friend of Melania's.

In December, it was revealed federal prosecutors in New York were investigating whether President Trump's 2017 inaugural committee misspent some of the $107 million it raised.

The investigation came partly out of materials seized in the federal probe of Trump's former personal attorney Michael Cohen's business dealings.

In April raids of Cohen's home, office and hotel room, federal agents obtained a recorded conversation between Cohen and Winston Wolkoff.

Wolkoff, in their conversation, expressed concern about how the inaugural committee was spending its money.

It's unknown when the conversation between Wolkoff and Cohen took place or why it was recorded.

Trump's inaugural committee raised more than double what former President Barack Obama's first inaugural committee did.

Supporters said the event was so costly because no one expected him to win so all the planning was done at the last minute.

But investigators are looking into whether some of the top donors to Trump's crowning event gave money in exchange for access to his administration, policy concessions or to influence the administration.

Money in exchange for political favors could violate federal corruption laws. There could also be a violation of federal law if funds were diverted from the inaugural committee, which was registered as a nonprofit. Follow us on Google newsTwitter and on Facebook

Post a comment