Advertisement
Canada markets closed
  • S&P/TSX

    21,899.99
    -210.12 (-0.95%)
     
  • S&P 500

    5,123.41
    -75.65 (-1.46%)
     
  • DOW

    37,983.24
    -475.84 (-1.24%)
     
  • CAD/USD

    0.7261
    -0.0043 (-0.59%)
     
  • CRUDE OIL

    85.45
    +0.43 (+0.51%)
     
  • Bitcoin CAD

    92,854.57
    -4,727.07 (-4.84%)
     
  • CMC Crypto 200

    885.54
    0.00 (0.00%)
     
  • GOLD FUTURES

    2,360.20
    -12.50 (-0.53%)
     
  • RUSSELL 2000

    2,003.17
    -39.43 (-1.93%)
     
  • 10-Yr Bond

    4.4990
    -0.0770 (-1.68%)
     
  • NASDAQ

    16,175.09
    -267.10 (-1.62%)
     
  • VOLATILITY

    17.31
    +2.40 (+16.10%)
     
  • FTSE

    7,995.58
    +71.78 (+0.91%)
     
  • NIKKEI 225

    39,523.55
    +80.92 (+0.21%)
     
  • CAD/EUR

    0.6819
    +0.0013 (+0.19%)
     

4 Times Melania and Donald Trump Clashed at the White House, According to New Book

A historical book about U.S. first ladies claims that while Melania was always publicly supportive of her husband during his presidency, the two often disagreed behind the scenes

<p>Joe Raedle/Getty</p> Former U.S. President Donald Trump and former first lady Melania Trump

Joe Raedle/Getty

Former U.S. President Donald Trump and former first lady Melania Trump

Though Melania Trump was always publicly supportive of her husband, Donald Trump, while he was president, the two often felt frustrated behind the scenes — and a new book divulges the details.

In her book American Woman: The Transformation of the Modern First Lady, from Hillary Clinton to Jill Biden, which was released on Tuesday, New York Times White House correspondent Katie Rogers details the evolution of the 21st-century first lady, with one chapter devoted to Melania's time in the role.

ADVERTISEMENT

Through interviews with dozens of sources close to the Trumps, as well as former staffers, Rogers details how Melania, 53, and Donald, 77, disagreed on everything from which television channel to watch, to how to respond to national tragedies.

<p>Courtesy of Crown</p> 'American Woman: The Transformation of the Modern First Lady, from Hillary Clinton to Jill Biden' by Katie Rogers

Courtesy of Crown

'American Woman: The Transformation of the Modern First Lady, from Hillary Clinton to Jill Biden' by Katie Rogers

Below, some of the things the first couple clashed over during their time in the White House, as described in the book.

Related: Amid Donald Trump's Indictment, Source Says 'Melania Will Support Him': 'That's What She Does' (Exclusive)

Photo by Chris Kleponis-Pool/Getty Images Donald J. Trump and Melania Trump
Photo by Chris Kleponis-Pool/Getty Images Donald J. Trump and Melania Trump

On CNN vs. Fox News

In American Woman, Rogers writes that Melania consumed plenty of news at the White House and paid close attention to how the media covered her. Like her husband, she was critical of journalists who were critical of her, according to the book — but unlike her husband, she had a different go-to cable news channel, watching CNN "voraciously" as Donald watched Fox News. ("A house divided," as Rogers puts it.)

The couple's opposing media consumption habits became an issue for the then-president, however, in July 2018. That's when, Rogers says, Donald became "incensed that his wife’s television was tuned to CNN aboard Air Force One during an overseas trip." He ordered that all TVs on Air Force One — and in their individual hotel suites — be turned to Fox News moving forward.

Trump's relationship with Fox News soured, however, in the latter part of his presidency, particularly after the network accurately called the state of Arizona for Joe Biden during the 2020 election.

Related: Melania Trump Says She's on 'Journey of Loss and Grief' After Death of 'Beloved' Mother Amalija Knavs

Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP/Shutterstock Melania and Donald Trump disembark from their final flight on Air Force One in West Palm Bleach, Florida, on Jan. 20, 2021
Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP/Shutterstock Melania and Donald Trump disembark from their final flight on Air Force One in West Palm Bleach, Florida, on Jan. 20, 2021

On Decorating the White House

In the early days of the Trump presidency — while Melania was still living in New York with her son Barron — she chose furniture for the White House residence, as is typical of many first ladies.

But her husband, whose tastes veer much more flashy than the modern aesthetic to which Melania is drawn, "replaced her choices with several pieces he liked better," Rogers writes.

"Without so much as control over the décor, Melania still wanted to signal to the public that she was optimistic about her future in Washington," Rogers continues. So, the first lady took to Twitter, sharing a view of the Washington Monument from within the White House, along with the message: “Looking forward to the memories we’ll make in our new home!”

While Donald may have had the final say on the furniture selection, Melania worked to maintain her sense of independence while residing in the White House, setting up her own suite apart from the president's, according to Rogers. Melania also moved her parents — mother Amalija and father Viktor — into the room where Michelle Obama's mother previously lived to have them nearby.

Related: Melania Trump Delivers Eulogy at Mother Amalija Knavs' Funeral: 'In Her Presence, the World Seemed to Shimmer'

A vigil for Heather Heyer, who died in the 2017 White nationalist riots in Charlottesville, Virginia
A vigil for Heather Heyer, who died in the 2017 White nationalist riots in Charlottesville, Virginia

On Responding to Crisis

When it came to the most divisive matters of the Trump presidency, Melania "did not seem to mind standing apart from her husband," Rogers writes.

That includes the moment when, in 2017, Donald said there "were very fine people, on both sides," of a White nationalist rally that turned deadly in Charlottesville, Virginia.

While her husband publicly excused the episode, Melania "quickly discouraged violence," Rogers notes, posting on Twitter: “Our country encourages freedom of speech, but let’s communicate w/o hate in our hearts. No good comes from violence."

Related: Melania Trump Makes Rare Public Appearance at National Archives to Welcome New U.S. Citizens

She took a differing stance from her husband at other times, too, like when Trump denounced Black athletes for kneeling during the national anthem. After Trump publicly insulted LeBron James, Rogers highlights, Melania had her press secretary, Stephanie Grisham, issue a statement that praised the basketball player.

"Her tweets were small gestures that amounted to little more than digital ephemera," Rogers writes. "Still, compared with her husband’s bridge burners, Melania’s missives established her as a rare figure in the Trump administration who seemed more interested in calming a cultural divide than widening it."

Sometimes, Melania's more public moments irritated her husband, such as when she infamously wore a jacket emblazoned with the phrase, "I Really Don't Care. Do U?" to visit migrant children kept at a detention center.

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free weekly newsletter to get the biggest news of the week delivered to your inbox every Friday.

The jacket led to one of the most notorious moments of Melania's time as first lady — one that, even by Trump standards, was "chaotic," Rogers writes.

Grisham, Rogers adds, "later recalled that Trump summoned the two of them to his office, yelled at them, and then decided that the official explanation for the jacket would be that Melania was speaking directly to the media."

Related: Former Presidents and First Ladies Gather for Rosalynn Carter’s Memorial Service

Win McNamee/Getty Donald and Melania Trump return to the White House on May 27, 2020
Win McNamee/Getty Donald and Melania Trump return to the White House on May 27, 2020

On Responding to Donald's Alleged Indiscretions

One of the biggest ways Melania has asserted her independence and differing opinions from her husband is in how she's responded — or not — to his scandals.

Rogers writes that one such moment came in late 2018, when adult film star Stormy Daniels alleged that she had been paid $130,000 just before the 2016 election to keep quiet about a sexual encounter she had a decade earlier with Trump (when Melania was, at the time, pregnant with Barron).

After the news went public, Melania backed out of an overseas trip with her husband and retreated to Mar-a-Lago without him, Rogers writes. "Grisham, who traveled with her on that jaunt, said that the First Lady had wanted to communicate her anger to the president."

Speaking to Rogers, Grisham said the move was intentional: “I think she was pissed at Trump and wanted him to be a little humiliated that she took off."

For more People news, make sure to sign up for our newsletter!

Read the original article on People.