Melania Trump used her position as the US First Lady to renegotiate her pre-nuptial agreement with husband, President Donald Trump before she moved into the White House after he was elected to office, a new book has revealed.
“The Art of Her Deal: The Untold Story of Melania Trump” by Washington Post reporter Mary Jordan, “draws an unprecedented portrait of the First Lady” based on interviews with more than 100 people in five countries.
Out on Tuesday, excerpts from the 286-page book appeared in The Washington Post on Friday, confirming a longtime rumor that Melania renegotiated her marital agreement with Donald Trump before she moved into the White House after he won the presidency.
Jordan, a longtime Post reporter who won a Pulitzer Prize in 2003, secured a rare one-on-one interview with Melania while covering the 2016 campaign. The Post received a copy of her book ahead of its June 16 release date.
The reporting goes back to Melania’s childhood in a small town in Slovenia, then part of Communist Yugoslavia, where her mother was a patternmaker in a children’s clothing factory and her father, who joined the Communist Party at one point, was a chauffeur and repaired cars. Melania was walking runways by age 7, modeling clothes her mother made, and sat for a photo shoot at 16.
The mythmaking, Jordan writes, began early, when she would fail to correct reporters who cited her age incorrectly, always younger than she was. Despite saying she wouldn’t get plastic surgery, three photographers who worked with her said they’ve seen the scars.
She attended a highly competitive architecture program at the University of Ljubljana, but did not graduate, though she claimed in sworn testimony to have a bachelor’s degree.
There’s also little evidence to suggest her claims of being able to speak four or five languages fluently are true.
“Photographers and others who have worked with her over the years – including native speakers of Italian, French, and German – told me that they never heard her use more than a few words of those languages,” Jordan writes. Reporting in the book suggests she only speaks English and Slovene fluently.
Melania Trump’s office blasted the book as ‘fiction.’
‘Yet another book about Mrs. Trump with false information and sources. This book belongs in the fiction genre,’ Stephanie Grisham, the first lady’s chief of staff, said in a statement to DailyMail.com.
Melania didn’t move into 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue until June 2017 – six months after President Trump took the oath of office. And she used that time to renegotiate her prenuptial agreement.
Jordan’s book notes the incoming first lady did want Barron to finish out his school year in New York but she also need time to ‘cool off’ after learning details about Trump’s marital infidelities, news she learned from media accounts, which included his affair with Playboy Playmate Karen McDougal and his ‘grab them by the p****’ comment on the ‘Access Hollywood’ tape.
Trump has denied any cheating. Reports of his affair with Stormy Daniels appeared in October 2018 and, after they appeared, Melania abruptly canceled her plans to join Trump in Davos for its annual conference.
But Trump’s victory in the 2016 election meant he needed a first lady by his side and she used her new-found leverage ‘to amend her financial arrangement with Trump – what Melania referred to as “taking care of Barron.”‘
‘She wanted proof in writing that when it came to financial opportunities and inheritance, Barron would be treated as more of an equal to Trump’s oldest three children,’ Jordan writes. Barron Trump was 10 when his father was elected president.
While Melania stayed in New York, first daughter Ivanka Trump tried to take advantage of her absence to seize territory in the White House. Ivanka, who would become an adviser in the West Wing, suggested renaming the First Lady’s Office to the First Family’s Office.
The White House called the story ‘totally false.’
‘This is totally false. The media is once again running untrue information from anonymous sources and not once did anyone fact check this with the White House or Ivanka Trump,’ said deputy press secretary Judd Deere.
Meanwhile, there were reports of tension between the first couple after Trump won the election, when he was alone in the White House while Melania and Barron stayed in New York. It was the first time Trump lived alone in 10 years.
The couple’s few appearances together – before Melania and Barron moved to the White House in June 2017 – were marked by viral moments: the swat she gave the president when he reached for her hand on a trip to Israel in May 2017 and how she reminded him to put his hand over his heart during the playing of the National Anthem during the Easter Egg Roll in April 2017.
Her original marital agreement with Trump was not financially generous, the book notes, but says Melania used the fact she had been married to Trump longer than either of his two previous wives, plus her ability to calm Trump, to negotiate an agreement ‘more to her liking.’
‘She is … much more like him than it appears,’ Jordan writes in her biography, which takes its name as play off Trump’s famous book ‘The Art of the Deal.’
Additionally, it cost tax payers more than $20 million dollars to protect the first lady and Barron while they spent the first six months of 2017 in New York City, living in a three-story apartment in Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue, one of the busiest and most accessible streets in New York.