If one were to ask what Melania Trump would best be remembered for in her role as first lady right before she and her husband former President Donald Trump absconded from the White House in January, it could be argued there would be less than expected to choose from. Christmas decor and statement jackets aside, Melania mostly staked her reputation as FLOTUS on a nominally anti-bullying campaign and a wordless smile. But now, it looks like an upcoming tell-all written by Melania’s former top aide Stephanie Grisham is threatening to usurp Melania’s detached veneer. Grisham stands to portray the former model as a Dorian Gray metaphor in the making — which is to say, the portrait is far from flattering.
According to Grisham’s account, Melania’s more egregious moments range from supporting her husband’s unsubstantiated claims of election fraud to refusing to use her platform and status as FLOTUS to discourage the violent rioters participating in the January 6 Capitol Hill insurrection. (Though, as columnist Jill Filipovic recently noted in an opinion column for CNN’s commentary on Melania and Grisham’s tell-all, “Why are we still acting surprised that Melania Trump shares many of her husband’s toxic views…?”) While it’s becoming increasingly more evident that Melania’s allegiances are in sync with the former commander-in-chief, her enthusiasm as a whole might only go so far — and if Grisham’s own testimony about what Melania was doing on the night of the 2020 election is to be believed, then it’s not very far at all.
Melania Trump seemed very disinterested on election night
Referencing Stephanie Grisham’s upcoming tell-all, CNN reported in September that Melania Trump appeared less-than-interested in whether or not her husband, then-President Donald Trump, would hold onto his White House post on the night of the November 2020 election — so much so that she slept through the majority of the proceedings. According to Grisham’s account, Melania was mainly left to her own devices during the proceedings, and the only reason she was able to appear on camera for her husband’s non-concession speech that night (and which, in part, got the ball rolling for Trump’s baseless and ongoing claims of election fraud) was because she was woken by staff to get her ready for her cameo.
Notably, Melania’s purported behavior and conduct on Election Night 2020 is in sharp contrast to what happened four years prior, when her husband was declared victor of the 2016 race. According to author Michael Wolff’s 2018 deep-dive “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House,” Melania was “in tears” after the results were declared in Trump’s favor — a show of emotion that, four years later, had allegedly faded into oblique apathy.
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