Melania Trump ‘should have thought twice’ before letting her former best friend and advisor take the fall over Trump’s expensive inauguration, an insider close to the White House has told DailyMail.com.
They added: ‘Three years later it’s all come full circle, and now Stephanie is the one with the last laugh – and the last word.’
Stephanie Winston Wolkoff served as an informal, unpaid advisor to her close friend Melania in the East Wing of the White House until February 2018 when she left the position amid controversy.
Reports said she was ousted because Trump and Melania were angry over the spending for the January 2017 inauguration celebration but Wolkoff has long insisted that she wasn’t fired, yet simply ‘thrown under the bus’.
In January, Trump’s inaugural committee was sued over allegations it had spent more than $1 million to book a ballroom at the Trump International Hotel for his inauguration celebration as part of a scheme to ‘grossly overpay’ for party space and enrich the president’s own family in the process.
In apparent vindication for Wolkoff, the lawsuit states she had raised concerns about the costs with Trump, Ivanka and Rick Gates, a top campaign official at the time.
Wolkoff, a former events planner for Vogue, was deposed on Wednesday, with DC Attorney General Karl Racine describing her testimony as ‘truthful, honest and fulsome’ and said it ‘strengthens’ the city’s case.
An insider told DailyMail.com: ‘They all thought, Melania included, that Stephanie would just quietly go away, but quite the opposite, she’s now one of the key witnesses in the lawsuit against the committee, the Trump Organization and the Trump International Hotel for their misuse of non-profit funds.’
The source also revealed Wolkoff has ‘millions’ of documents that show Melania was involved in the decision making and planning of the events, and accused Ivanka of creating the false narrative that Wolkoff ran off with millions of dollars.
Melania Trump should’ve ‘thought twice’ before letting her former best friend and advisor take the fall over Trump’s expensive inauguration, an insider close to the White House has told DailyMail.com
Reports said she was ousted because Trump and Melania were angry over the spending for the January 2017 ceremony that swore Trump into office. Wolkoff has long insisted that she wasn’t fired, yet simply ‘thrown under the bus’
In January, Trump’s inaugural committee was sued over allegations it had spent more than $1 million to book a ballroom at the Trump International Hotel for his inauguration celebration in 2017, as part of a scheme to ‘grossly overpay’ for party space and enrich the president’s own family in the process
Attorney General Karl Racine told CNN’s Anderson Cooper on Wednesday night: ‘Ms. Winston Wolkoff has been fully cooperative since day one of meeting her. In her deposition today, I think it was truthful, honest and fulsome.
‘Though I can’t talk about the details of the deposition, I can tell you it strengthens our case and our case is a just case because it demonstrates that the Trumps took advantage of the presidential inaugural committee and funneled money, a $1 million essentially, to their own pockets and purses through the Trump hotel.’
As part of the suit, the attorneys have subpoenaed records from Ivanka Trump, first lady Melania Trump, Thomas Barrack Jr., a close friend of the president who chaired the inaugural committee, and others. Barrack was deposed last month.
The insider told DailyMail.com: ‘Now that Melania has been subpoenaed for the investigation, she can no longer deny her knowledge or involvement in matters related to the committee, nor the fact that Stephanie was there on her behalf.
‘Contrary to the claims made by Melania and the White House that neither she, nor Ivanka, or the President knew anything about the inaugural finances, is just a joke.
‘Stephanie has proof, in fact the Attorney General of DC Karl Racine came out and said Stephanie has been a fully cooperating witness and has already supplied close to 20,000 documents.
‘Stephanie has more like a few million documents. Melania should have just backed up her friend.
‘Melania was very much involved in the decision making and planning of the dinners and events for the inauguration and knew a lot of the drama that was going on. Stephanie and Melania worked together from the transition, through the inauguration and into the east wing of the White House.’
Wolkoff, a former events planner for Vogue, was deposed on Wednesday, with DC Attorney General Karl Racine describing her testimony as ‘truthful, honest and fulsome’ and it ‘strengthens’ the city’s case
Melania is scheduled to be deposed later in the case, as Ivanka was grilled for five hours last week. She blasted an inquiry of the 2017 Trump inauguration that she cast as politically motivated
She published a 2016 email requesting a ‘fair market rate’
Ivanka was grilled for five hours last week, leading the first daughter to lash out at Racine and published an email she claims exonerates her.
‘This ‘inquiry’ is another politically motivated demonstration of vindictiveness & waste of taxpayer dollars,’ she wrote and attached a December 2016 email in which she wrote: ‘Just seeing this. Why don’t you call and negotiate. It should be a fair market rate.’
Winston Wolkoff has already been a thorn in the Trump’s side, with her release earlier this year of the New York Times Bestseller Melania & Me: The Rise and Fall of My Friendship with the First Lady
She also released bombshell audio tapes of intimate conversations with Melania, sparking a media storm when the 50-year-old First Lady quipped ‘give me a f***ing break’ about separating migrant children from their mothers at the border.
Melania fired back, saying it was a ‘book of idle gossip trying to distort my character’ and claimed the former Vogue staffer ‘hardly knew’ her and ‘clung’ to her after Donald Trump won the presidency.
But the insider laughed at the first lady’s attempt to distance herself from her former best friend, telling DailyMail.com: ‘Stephanie was the only person who cared about Melania and the role of the future first lady. If Stephanie wasn’t there, Melania wouldn’t have been a priority or kept in the loop.
‘With Ivanka’s close relationship to Tom Barrack and Deputy Chairman Rick Gates, it easily could have been Ivanka walking down the steps of the Lincoln Memorial arm-in-arm with her dad, and not Melania.’
‘When Stephanie was Melania’s top advisor, she tried to support and protect her especially from Ivanka and her ongoing attempts to undermine the First Lady. Those first months in the White House were exactly as Stephanie described in her book, just miserable.’
The source said: ‘It was Stephanie who helped Melania with everything! Who do you think asked Ralph Lauren to custom make her swearing-in outfit?’ Pictured: Melania on Trump’s inauguration day
The insider added: ‘Stephanie didn’t write her book to get back at Melania with idle gossip.
‘Quite the opposite, she wrote the memoir to share her experience, and if you’ve read Melania and Me, you’ll see the breadcrumbs all over the pages pointing to the bigger picture of the utter chaos and corruption that she witnessed first-hand during the planning of the presidential inauguration and inside the White House.’
‘It was Stephanie who helped Melania with everything! Who do you think asked Ralph Lauren to custom make her swearing-in outfit?
‘You think WWD (Women’s Wear Daily) just miraculously had the exclusives on Melania’s wardrobe? Stephanie went into this role with the right intention. She wanted to help Melania build out a game changing initiative, it’s just who she is, and for Melania to claim otherwise, is just horrible.
Melania said it was a ‘book of idle gossip trying to distort my character’ and claimed the former Vogue staffer ‘hardly knew’ her and ‘clung’ to her
‘Ivanka had all the relationships with the top-tier administration officials and used every single one of them to advance her agenda.
‘Ivanka succeeded in making sure Stephanie was put front and center of the inaugural’s financial scandal creating a false narrative that she ran off with millions of dollars.
‘By doing this, Stephanie would no longer be able to support Melania in moving forward with initiatives that would have solidified her impact as First Lady on the country.’
‘Whether she wants to admit it or not, Melania could have done the right thing and saved her friend and herself a lot of headache had she just backed Stephanie when she had the chance.
‘She’s been dragged into the US Attorney General Karl Racine’s lawsuit which could have been avoided had she told the truth and not allowed the New York Times to discredit Stephanie and make it appear as if she received $26 million dollars or was fired – neither which are true.’
‘Stephanie had her back. In fact, she’s the only who had Melania’s back, and the only one who was thrown under the bus for something she didn’t do. Well, three years later it’s all come full circle, and now Stephanie is the one with the last laugh and the last word.’