- The former White House adviser Omarosa Manigault Newman’s new book hits hard against President Donald Trump but paints a more well-rounded picture of first lady Melania Trump.
- Manigault Newman describes the first lady as a dedicated wife and mother, and as someone who sometimes challenges her husband.
- The first lady’s office did not respond to requests for comment, but the White House said last week that the book was “riddled with lies and false accusations.”
The former White House adviser Omarosa Manigault Newman’s new book, “Unhinged: An Insider’s Account of the Trump White House,” which went on sale Tuesday, hits hard against President Donald Trump on nearly every page.
But it paints a caring and complex picture of first lady Melania Trump.
In 330 pages, Manigault Newman lobs a wide variety of allegations and insults at the president, calling him a “racist,” a “misogynist,” and a “bigot,” while saying much nicer things about the first lady.
Manigault Newman, a three-time contestant on “The Apprentice,” first met the Trumps through the reality-TV show, then joined Donald Trump on the campaign trail and in the West Wing before the White House chief of staff, John Kelly, fired her in December.
As a wife
Manigault Newman wrote that Melania Trump was a dedicated and loving wife who “would gaze at him with adoration” even though the president behaved “like a dog off the leash” when he attended events without her.
Since Donald Trump took office, two instances have emerged of hush-money arrangements designed to silence women’s allegations of past extramarital sexual relationships with him. Manigault Newman wrote that beyond those alleged relationships, “it would be safe to assume that there were many others.”
The adult-film actress Stormy Daniels has said she had an affair with Donald Trump in 2006, the same year Melania Trump gave birth to her son, Barron. Manigault Newman wrote that the relationship was an open secret in the president’s circle but that if the first lady “had any idea about his extracurricular activities, I didn’t know, and it wasn’t my business.”
After the president’s attorney Rudy Giuliani said Melania Trump “believes her husband” about his denials of an affair with Daniels, the first lady’s spokeswoman, Stephanie Grisham, told The New York Times, “I don’t believe Mrs. Trump has ever discussed her thoughts on anything with Mr. Giuliani.”
As a mother
Manigault Newman wrote that Melania Trump was “an incredible mother” to her son and that her affectionate doting was a side of her that “the world doesn’t get to see.”
In 2015, the first lady told People magazine that when it comes to parenting, “I like to be hands-on,” adding: “I think it’s very important.” Also that year, she described herself as a “full-time mum” who prepares Barron’s meals and takes him to and from school.
The parenting style she has described with Barron appears to differ from that of the president’s first wife, Ivana Trump, who reportedly had two nannies to take care of their three children. Donald Trump told the New York Post in October 2015 that he and Melania did have a live-in nanny, though it’s unclear whether they have one at the White House.
As a rebellious dresser
Manigault Newman hypothesized that Melania Trump dresses strategically and sometimes uses her fashion choices to poke at the president – something that has previously been speculated.
For example, the first lady wore a Gucci blouse described as a “pussy-bow shirt” to a presidential debate in October 2016, two days after her husband was heard on a leaked 2005 recording boasting about pursuing a married woman and remarking that he could “grab” women “by the p—y” because “when you’re a star they let you do it.”
More recently, the first lady made headlines when she wore a green military-style jacket that said “I really don’t care, do u?” while boarding a plane to Texas to visit immigrant children amid the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy that led to the separation of thousands of children from their families at the US-Mexico border.
“It’s a jacket,” Grisham said at the time in a statement to Business Insider. “There was no hidden message.”
The White House has sought to discredit the memoir
Neither the White House nor Grisham immediately responded to Business Insider’s request for comment on this story.
Of Manigault Newman’s musings about Melania Trump, Grisham told Newsweek that the first lady “rarely, if ever, interacted with Omarosa.”
“It’s disappointing to her that she is lashing out and retaliating in such a self-serving way, especially after all the opportunities given to her by the president,” Grisham said.
The White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, released a statement saying the book was “riddled with lies and false accusations,” and the president has been using Twitter to attack Manigault Newman’s credibility.
During the White House press briefing on Tuesday, Sanders said Manigault Newman “clearly cares more about herself than our country.”
“She worked here for a year and didn’t have any of these things to say,” Sanders said. “In fact, everything she said was quite the opposite – not just in the year that she worked here but the time that she spent on the campaign trail.”
Sanders added: “I think it’s really sad what she’s doing at this point.”
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