It’s no secret that the relationship between Melania Trump and Ivanka Trump is icy at best. With multiple tell-all books and insider info leaking from the White House, OK! is diving in deep into the long-standing rift between the First Lady and her stepdaughter.
“They were both former models. They both could not have come up more differently,” Mary Jordan wrote in her book, The Art of Her Deal: The Untold Story of Melania Trump. “At 14 years old, when Ivanka started modeling, she was already getting in the headlines. At 16, she was on the cover of a magazine. Melania was 26 when she arrived in America, she was already considered old and nobody knew who Melania Knauss was. Melania really had to work hard in her modeling career, and Ivanka did not. It changes, but they’ve had a pretty tense relationship.”
The author disclosed that the president’s oldest daughter tried to get her father to rename the “First Lady’s Office” the “First Family Office,” but the 50-year-old vetoed the move. The two also got into catfights over White House perks.
“With Melania away, Ivanka used the private theatre, with its plush red seats, and enjoyed other White House perks,” the author wrote. “Some said she treated the private residence as if it were her own home. Melania did not like it. When she and Barron finally moved in, she put an end to the ‘revolving door’ by enforcing firm boundaries.”
The competition between the two women didn't end there. According to a former housekeeper interviewed for the book, they even deliberately scheduled their home cleanings at the same time, going so far as to fight over the maid.
In an explosive new book Melania and Me: The Rise and Fall of My Friendship With the First Lady, author Stephanie Winston Wolkoff exposes even more of the hatred between the two women.
In one excerpt, the author reveals the First Lady didn’t want to have her stepdaughter in the main photos when her husband was sworn in as the nation's 45th president on his inauguration day. The seating arrangements went through Melania for the inauguration ceremony and everything was set up in such a way that it could keep the cameras away from the First Daughter as her father took the oath.
The author acknowledged that “Operation Block Ivanka" was petty. "Melania was in on this mission. But in our minds, Ivanka shouldn't have made herself the center of attention in her father's inauguration.”
“It was Donald's inauguration, not Ivanka's. But no one was brave enough to tell her that. Melania was not thrilled about Ivanka's steering the schedule and would not allow it. Neither was she happy to hear that Ivanka insisted on walking in the Pennsylvania Avenue parade with her children,” she noted.
But that is just the top of the iceberg when it comes to Melania and Ivanka’s feud, according to the author.
In the book, she describes how Melania would refer to the 38-year-old as “princess” in a snarky and derogatory manner. During a conversation with the First Lady, her former friend asked how many people Ivanka has helping her out. Melania reportedly replied with: “Who? You mean Princess?!”
The First Lady’s disdain for her stepdaughter is so deep that she also refuses to cohost any event with Ivanka. When the Trump family moved into the White House, Ivanka expressed an interest in getting more involved with events — especially the International Women's Day event. This did not sit well with Melania. “Are you kidding me? Seriously? I’m not cohosting,” Melania reportedly told the author.
In a petty gripe, the book details how Melania will apparently never wear a designer that Ivanka has worn. Ivanka once wore a KaufmanFranco dress, and Melania soon after removed the designer from her list for style consideration.
And there isn’t just a deep mistrust between Melania and Ivanka. In several text messages, the book reveals Melania used the snake emoji to refer to Ivanka and her husband, Jared Kushner. In one text message, Melania replied with, “You know how they are snakes.”
Additionally, the book alleges after Ivanka and Jared’s team wrestled Melania for the East Wing, Ivanka tried her best to remove her stepmother from any decisions and from being a “visible Trump female.” The author details the steps that Ivanka would take to erase Melania from the situation.
“Ivanka was relentless and was determined to be the First Daughter Lady and to usurp office space out from under Melania; she wanted to be the only visible female Trump on the premises, and she was actively using her influence with Katie Walsh, Reince Priebus and Hope Hicks to thwart our efforts.”
CNN reporter Kate Bennett shared her own theories of the women’s relationship in an unauthorized biography, Free, Melania, which came out in December 2019.
“Cordial, not close,” is how it was described to the reporter by “someone who has spent ample time with both women.” Bennett takes issue with the way, early on in the administration, Mrs. Trump was labeled by the media as a “vapid-model trophy wife” while Ivanka got to be a “savvy career mom.”
The reporter also wrote that Ivanka’s international travel irks her stepmother: “The trips were, according to a source, too close for comfort for Melania, who thought Ivanka was invading her turf.”
The report also points out that Melania’s infamous $39 army-green Zara parka jacket that had “I Really Don’t Care” printed on the back, which she wore on June 2018 trip to the border, was a direct jab at Ivanka.
“I believed, and still do, that the jacket was a facetious jab at Ivanka and her near-constant attempts to attach herself for positive administration talking points,” the reporter wrote.
As the 2020 election heats up and President Trump vies for reelection, perhaps the feud between these two is just heating up.