The White House fires back at an ex-aide to Melania Trump who says she was 'thrown under the bus'

The White House fires back at an ex-aide to Melania Trump who says she was 'thrown under the bus'
Official White House Photo by Andrea Hank
News & Politics

A former adviser to First Lady Melania Trump, Stephanie Winston Wolkof, has had a messy break with the White House — and it all seems to stem back the shady dealings around President Donald Trump's inauguration.

In new remarks to the New York Times published Monday, Winston Wolkof expressed a feeling of betrayal for the way she has been treated.

“Was I fired? No,” Winston Wolkoff told the time. “Did I personally receive $26 million or $1.6 million? No. Was I thrown under the bus? Yes.”

She had worked on the inauguration under an entity she incorporated called WIS Media Partners that received $26 million, the Times reported, and her personal firm received $1.62 million. Trump's inauguration, which raked in more than $100 million, had a price tag nearly double that of other recent inaugurations. After the inauguration, Winston Wolkoff stayed on with the first lady as an adviser. But when the Times broke the story about the inaugural spending — spending which is now being investigated by federal prosecutors — the first lady ended their professional relationship.

But while Winston Wolkoff insisted it wasn't a firing, the first lady's spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham had said she had been "severed." In response to Wolkoff's comments about being "thrown under the bus," Grisham sent back a seething rejoinder on Monday:

The White House ended Mrs. Wolkoff’s contract, period. I’m not going to waste my time arguing the semantics of what the word ‘severed’ means simply because someone decided to run to the media with hurt feelings and a bruised ego. As stated more than a year ago, I wish Mrs. Wolkoff well.

This may all seem just like petty sniping, but it reveals a serious break in a relationship — a break that appears to stem from the inauguration and the subsequent investigation. A recorded conversation between Winston Wolkoff and former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen appears to have played a significant role in the investigation, and may have even triggered it. A good bet would be that we haven't yet seen the last of the fallout.

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