Donald Trump’s White House is a miserable cesspool of infighting and ego-tripping. It’s a place where aides have to distract the president to keep him from enacting every single idea that pops into his brain, like ending NAFTA or declaring war on North Korea.
But every once in awhile, a story comes along that makes wading through the sewage of this administration a little less horrifically painful.
I am taking a break from my role as a “serious beat reporter” to bring INTO readers the silly yet altogether enjoyable feud between Melania and Ivana Trump, who have declared war over remarks that the president’s first wife made to ABC News. On a Monday appearance to promote her forthcoming book, Raising Trump, the 68-year-old socialite referred to herself as the “first lady.”
“I [don’t] really want to call him there, because Melania is there,” the former Mrs. Trump said about phoning the White House. “And I don’t want to cause any kind of jealousy or something like that, because I’m basically first Trump wife. OK? I’m first lady.”
In a separate sit down, Ivana also insinuated that she could be a better White House spouseif she wanted to.
“Could I straighten out the White House in 14 days?” she said in a Time magazine interview published Sunday, as she’s pictured lounging on a luxurious red velvet couch. “Of course. Can I go and give the speech without a teleprompter for 45 minutes? Of course. Can I entertain? Of course I can entertain. But it is just not something I would like to do.”
As with any feud between two rich and powerful women, the battle over Ivana’s (admittedly tongue-in-cheek) comments was fought through their publicists. Melania Trump’s communications director, Stephanie Grisham, called the remarks “self-serving noise.”
“[Melania] has made the White House a home for Barron and the president,” said Gresham in a totally unnecessary response to a story that would have otherwise gone away. “She loves living in Washington, DC, and is honored by her role as first lady of the United States. She plans to use her title and role to help children, not sell books. There is clearly no substance to this statement from an ex.”
Gresham neglects to mention that while the First Lady may not have used her position to hock a ghostwritten memoir, she has instead exploited the office of the president to sell cheap bracelets on QVC. At one point, “Melania Timepieces & Jewelry” even had its own page on the White House website.
Ivana, never keen to let someone else have the last word, responded during a Tuesday morning Fox and Friends segment. She claimed there’s no bad blood between the two women.
“I am glad Melania is there and I am here,” she said, calling Washington, D.C. a “tough, tough town.” Trump’s first wife, who was married to him from 1977 to 1992, claimed that the White House offered her an ambassadorship to her native Czech Republic but she declined the offer. Ivana claimed that she would “lose” her freedom under the confines of the position.
The BBC helpfully notes that while Trump is the second divorcé president, this is the first public squabble between a First Lady and a president’s ex-wife. What a time to be alive.