Always a favorite target of the mainstream media and critics on the left, former first lady Melania Trump has recently been subjected to fresh scrutiny over a years-old audio recording, as Newsweek reports, the topic of which has historically caused her husband to spring to her defense.
At issue is a recording that first went public back in 2020, but which has been dredged up once more in response to remarks made by former President Donald Trump – currently the Republican primary frontrunner – at a campaign event in Iowa.
The remarks from Mrs. Trump were reportedly made during her tenure as first lady – a time when she was tasked with planning holiday decorations at the White House.
According to audio subsequently released in 2020 by Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, a former friend and aide to Mrs. Trump, the first lady was – at least for a time – less than enthusiastic about those duties.
Melania Trump was heard to have said, “Give me a f**king break. I'm working like a – my a** off at Christmas stuff that, you know, who gives a f**k about Christmas stuff and decorations.”
“But I need to do it, right? Correct?” she asked, as the recording revealed.
Also heard in the recording was Mrs. Trump's frustration that she had been accused of insufficient attention to her role at the White House at a time when significant attention was also being paid by journalists to family separations at the southern border.
“Ok, and then I do it. And I say that I'm working on Christmas, planning for Christmas. And they said, 'Ooh what about the children, that they were separated?' Give me a f**king break. Were they saying anything when [former President Barack] Obama did that?” she asked.
After the tape of her comments was released in connection with Wolkoff's memoir, Melania and Me: The Rise and Fall of My Friendship with the First Lady, Mrs. Trump asserted that her statements had been taken “out of context” and were weaponized as “idle gossip trying to distort my character.”
Mrs. Trump's then-chief of staff Stephanie Grisham said at the time that the act of recording the first lady was “a clear attempt at relevance” from Wolkoff and a “never-ending exercise in self-pity and narcissism.”
Despite the stale nature of reporting on Mrs. Trump's Christmas comments, the issue came to the fore once again when her husband – during a recent campaign stop – referenced the resurgence of Christmas in societal discourse he believes took hold during his term in office.
“By the way, remember Christmas, by the way? We brought back 'Merry Christmas.' Nobody fights it anymore,” Trump said. “One of the first things I said in 2015, actually, when I was campaigning, I said, we will bring back 'Merry Christmas.' Because these woke department stores, they didn't want to use the word Christmas. And they use the word Christmas now.”
As well-intentioned as those remarks may have been, they had the effect of reviving past criticism of Mrs. Trump, with social media users pouncing on the prior controversy, with one writing, “She SUCKED! She does not deserve all the privileges that comes with being first lady. She didn't really care. I heard a recording of her complaining about decorating for Christmas at the White House. Melania said to her friend, I hate this Christmas stuff.”
Though there is certainly no shortage of left-leaning critics of Melania Trump's Christmas displays in past years, many other Americans were far more offended by Jill Biden's holiday décor, which included personalized stockings for members of her entire family and their pets, but which blatantly excluded little Navy Joan Roberts, the young daughter of Hunter Biden whom the president's extended clan long pretended did not exist.