Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, a former friend and senior adviser to First Lady Melania Trump, has released a secretly recorded conversation in which the First Lady appears to play down the separating of families at the border. Wolkoff, who wrote the book Melania and Me, discussed the tapes on CNN's 'Anderson Cooper 360.'
"They say I'm complicit. I'm the same like him, I support him. I don't say enough I don't do enough where I am," Melania said in one tape about children being separated from their parents at the border. In another recording, Melania Trump said that migrant children brought "by coyotes" enjoyed detention centers because of "the way they take care of them."
"The kids, they say, 'Wow I will have my own bed? I will sleep on the bed? I will have a cabinet for my clothes?' It's so sad to hear it but they didn't have that in their own countries, they sleep on the floor," Melania Trump said. "They are taken care of nicely there. But you know, yeah, they are not with parents, it's sad. But when they come here alone or with coyotes or illegally, you know, you need to do something."
Here's all of the Melania Trump audio played on @andersoncooper tonight. The audio was taped by her former friend and advisor @SWWCreative.— Yashar Ali 🐘 (@yashar) October 2, 2020
In the tapes, Mrs. Trump talks about:
- Family separations
- "Liberal media"
- The "I really don't care" jacket pic.twitter.com/N2Y8QtqD8n
The first lady went on to cast doubt about the authenticity of asylum claims. "A lot of like moms and kids they are teached how to do it," she claimed. "They go over and they say like, 'Oh, we will be killed by a gang member, we will be, you know, it's so dangerous,' So they are allowed to stay here."
"It's not true that they would, you know what I mean," Trump said, adding that "they're not professional but they are teached by other people what to say to come over and to you know let them go to stay here. Because they could easily stay in Mexico but they don't want to stay in Mexico because Mexico doesn't take care of them the same as America does."
Melania Trump then discussed how the issue had overshadowed her White House Christmas decorations. "I'm working ... my a** off on the Christmas stuff, that you know, who gives a f*** about the Christmas stuff and decorations? But I need to do it, right?"
"OK, and then I do it and I say that I'm working on Christmas and planning for the Christmas and they said, 'Oh, what about the children that they were separated?' Give me a f****** break. Where they were saying anything when Obama did that? I can not go, I was trying get the kid reunited with the mom. I didn't have a chance -- needs to go through the process and through the law."
Melania Trump's chief of staff Stephanie Grisham blasted Wolkoff for releasing the tapes, saying: "Secretly taping the First Lady and willfully breaking an NDA to publish a salacious book is a clear attempt at relevance. The timing of this continues to be suspect - as does this never-ending exercise in self-pity and narcissism."