The relationship between President Trump and first lady Melania Trump has not generally been painted as the happiest by the media. One new book, though, suggests that it's much better than you might think. Melania and Trump's relationship is described positively in Cliff Sims's book Team of Vipers, according to a review of the book by The New York Times. It will be published at the end of January.
The Times review notes that the book describes the two's relationship in ways that "defy the public perception of their marriage." The book reportedly shows Melania in a "protective" role — at least when it comes to the staff. The review mentions an anecdote from the book about when Melania complained to Trump about a Politico article and said that he should fire his then-communications director.
This narrative doesn't follow what is usually presented in the press —that Melania stayed in New York City as long as she could and, now in Washington, she lives a largely separate life from her husband. The Washington Post reported in May that friends said they spent very little time together, in or out of the White House. Melania's spokesperson at the time countered some of those assertions, adding that she was "focused on being a mom" and "wife."
The Trumps' relationship also reportedly suffered after the Stormy Daniels affair (which the president denies) was first reported and then the hush money payment. Melania has responded to those reports, though, and has generally not spoken fondly of how the media treats her marriage.
"I know people like to speculate and media like to speculate about our marriage and circulate the gossip," she told ABC. "But I understand the gossip sells newspapers, magazines … and, unfortunately, we live in this kind of world today."
In an interview with ABC in October, she said that she loved her husband and that the two were "fine." As for the affairs and payments, she said she has better things to worry about. "It is not concern and focus of mine," she told the network. "I’m a mother and a first lady, and I have much more important things to think about and to do."
As for the book, the most dramatic scenes seem to cover other subjects, according to the reviews. The author even paints himself as somewhat of a problem, at least according to coworkers. "Cliff," Sims quotes Kelly Conway as saying according to a review in The Guardian, "in the past 40 years, I don’t think I’ve ever had a subordinate whose reputation is worse than yours. In every single context that your name comes up, it’s always negative – always."
In general, though, he focuses on how the White House was chaotic, in particular due to Trump's staff. "It’s impossible to deny how absolutely out of control the White House staff — again, myself included — was at times," he writes in the book, according to The Times review.
If you really want to learn more about Trump and Melania's relationship, this may not be the book for you. But it does reportedly share a different side of it.