The furniture Melania Trump chose for the White House was replaced with glitzier items preferred by her husband, Donald Trump, it has been claimed in a new profile of the First Lady.
The profile, published by the New York Times, tells that Mr Trump overruled his wife on the elegant and modern furniture she selected for their new home in favour of a more lavish interior design scheme.
The 48-year-old Slovenian was portrayed as a woman with a steely core, however, who does at times choose to overrule her husband.
It also reported that Mr Trump suggested she not mount her kids' campaign against cyberbullying, saying she would likely be mocked because he frequently abuses people on Twitter, but she dismissed his concerns.
When she became the highest-ranking White House official to visit the US-Mexico border, in the midst of outrage at a policy of separating immigrant children from their parents, she wore a jacket emblazoned with the phrase “I really don't care, do u?” to silence her critics inside and outside the Trump orbit, the paper reported.
The paper reported that Mrs Trump and her husband maintain separate bedrooms inside the White House and when travelling, and said that she spends much of her time in the East Wing of the building, keeping up with her Pilates schedule and tending to their 12-year-old son, Barron.
Mrs Trump has few friends in Washington DC, and her staff is small — 10 people, compared with more than 25 who worked for Michelle Obama or Laura Bush. She returns to New York around once a month to visit her sister and hair stylist, and see her friends – who she reportedly stays in touch with via emoji-heavy text messages.
“She is a woman of grit, never afraid to speak her mind,” said Karen LeFrak, wife of a New York property developer and one of Mrs Trump’s friends.
“As a friend, I’ve seen how she handles her role as first lady with the same finesse and care as she uses in her friendships — always quality over quantity.”
Another of her allies, Thomas Barrack, a friend of her husband, said the president respects her.
“He listens to her more intently than anyone and respects her advice and counsel not only because she is his wife, but because her loyalty, grace, trust, elegance under fire, intellect and instincts are time tested and proven,” he said.
The paper spoke to several “friends and aides of the Trumps” who said that their relationship was unchanged by the move to Washington.
A Palm Beach friend said Mrs Trump “entered the relationship with Mr Trump with her eyes open, and has weathered 13 years of scandal-plagued marriage and a rocky transition into the White House primarily for the benefit of keeping life stable for their son.”
The president’s allies, the paper claimed, say he remains concerned about her reaction whenever headlines about his affairs emerge, and he has told friends he feels guilty about the criticism she has faced.
A former White House official told the paper that Mr and Mrs Trump give the impression that they like one another, but their rapport is not particularly warm.
Another person said Mrs Trump was far more relaxed outside the presence of her husband than when he was around.
Her spokeswoman, Stephanie Grisham, defended the Be Best cyber bullying initiative.
“It is exactly what she wants it to be, and has been a success,” said Ms Grisham said. “We look forward to continued success in her mission of helping children.”
She added that Mrs Trump “is staying true to the independent woman that she is by doing things her own way.
“This should be celebrated, not criticised. Her priorities remain her family, her personal health and her role as first lady.”
She said that Mrs Trump was entirely happy with her husband’s furniture.
“They both chose the décor,” she said.