In an excerpt from his forthcoming book published Wednesday in New York magazine, journalist Michael Wolff describes the 2016 presidential election from the point of view of the Trump campaign — and it doesn't appear to be the kind of story the Trumps want told. It's an alleged behind-the-scenes look at how Donald Trump, his family, and his staff were not expecting to win the presidency. Melania Trump cried the night Trump won the election, according to Wolff — and he writes that those weren't happy tears.
Many people are questioning the validity of Wolff's book, however, particularly after noticing a passage about Trump not knowing who John Boehner is (the president has tweeted about the former Speaker of the House over the years). And the First Lady's press secretary, Stephanie Grisham, denies the anecdote about Melania crying on election night. She tells Bustle that Wolff's book "is clearly going to be sold in the bargain fiction section. Mrs. Trump supported her husband's decision to run for President and in fact, encouraged him to do so. She was confident he would win and was very happy when he did."
But Wolff's account of the night of Nov. 8, 2016, is very different. "Don Jr. told a friend that his father, or DJT, as he calls him, looked as if he had seen a ghost," Wolff writes. "Melania was in tears—and not of joy." He went on to describe the range of emotions Trump experienced after winning the presidency. "There was, in the space of little more than an hour... a befuddled Trump morphing into a disbelieving Trump and then into a horrified Trump."
This isn't the first report that claims Melania is unhappy as the first lady. A close friend of the Trumps told Vanity Fair's Sarah Ellison that being in the White House "isn’t something [Melania] wanted and it isn’t something [Donald] ever thought he’d win." She went on to stress that Melania "didn’t want this come hell or high water. I don’t think she thought it was going to happen.”
But, the first lady's spokesperson stresses that Melania encouraged her husband to run. He'd talked about running for office for so many years, that after deciding not to run in 2012, Melania told him that 2016 was his last chance. “She was very clearly the one who said, ‘Either run or don’t run,’” former Trump adviser Roger Stone told Vanity Fair. “She knew it was in his blood. He always wanted to run. She is the one who pushed him to run just by saying run or do not run. I don’t think she was ever too crazy about it.”
People have been speculating since the Trumps took office that Melania is less than thrilled with her new role. And, of course, there's the now infamous GIF of the First Lady slapping the president's hand away when they arrived at the Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv. That didn't help stem the rumors that Melania is unhappy in her marriage and never wanted to be in politics.
Even Trump's first wife, Ivana, said Melania "doesn't want to be involved" in her husband's political career. "What is he going to do with his third wife?" she told the New York Daily News when Trump was considering running in 2015. "She can’t talk, she can’t give a speech, she doesn’t go to events, she doesn’t want to be involved.”
While the details from Wolff's book seem plausible given other reports of Melania not wanting to serve in the role, many journalists are telling readers to take his account with a grain of salt. He’s the founder of gossip news site Newser, which has long been criticized for the way it reports the news.
Yet, still, there will be people convinced Melania is miserable. So much so that the "Free Melania" movement was born. However, it's important to remember that she is an independent, grown woman who is choosing her life and seems to be very happy with it. Melania can "free" herself at any time, if she wants to.