Even when she was in the spotlight as first lady, Melania Trump remained largely an enigma.
Some see her as cold and unapproachable, others as averse to the public eye, but according to one former adviser to Mrs. Trump, her behavior is carefully considered.
Stephanie Winston Wolkoff spoke to The Washington Post about the former first lady’s deliberately icy demeanor, some of her unusual techniques for favorable media coverage and the fact that Melania never leaves anything to chance.
“Melania Trump’s greatest weapon is silence,” Wolkoff said.
She recalls that Trump remains silent in front of the press even in heart-breaking situations such as the scandal between Donald Trump and porn actress Stormy Daniels, and this is completely intentional.
In such situations, explains Wolkoff, Melania prefers to remain silent rather than show excessive emotion.
“She thinks that when people don’t know who she really is, it protects her,” adds the former adviser. And there’s another reason Mrs. Trump doesn’t give many speeches, and that’s because she hates being portrayed as a victim or a weak woman who needs to be rescued.
“The former first lady hates stories that portray her as a damsel in need of a savior,” Wolkoff explains.
In order to look as favorable as possible in the media, Melania wants a specific set of words to be used for her.
Among Trump’s approved words are “confident,” “strong” and “independent.” The words she absolutely does not want to read about herself in the media are “stubborn”, “strange” and “capricious”. Wolkoff is adamant that Melania is still following the behavior set by her time as first lady.
Her tenacity respects even Donald Trump, who is otherwise not in the habit of listening to other people’s opinions. “She seems to be the only person he’s willing to bow down to,” admits Wolkoff.
The adviser’s description of Mrs. Trump completely matches that of Stephanie Grisham, Melania’s former chief of staff.
Grisham told CNN that her ex-boss was a stubborn woman who was used to doing what she wanted. In some cases, this means not holding her husband’s hand or even being by his side at public events.
Once, during Joe Biden’s election campaign, Melania told Grisham that she didn’t understand why Jill Biden was constantly by her husband’s side.
“He told me that he saw no reason to hold his husband like that all the time,” explains Stephanie Grisham.
In her opinion, after the end of her era as an active model, Melania does not want to be a public figure at all, and for this reason, we will see her less and less.
Unless Donald Trump decides to run again – something the woman next to him certainly doesn’t want.