Just weeks after stepson Donald Trump Jr.’s book Triggered hit bookstores, Melania Trump is getting the hardcover treatment of her own. Dec. 3 is the publication date for CNN White House correspondent Kate Bennett’s tome devoted to the first lady, Free, Melania — an unauthorized biography that offers insight into FLOTUS’s relationship with stepdaughter Ivanka Trump.
According to the New York Times, Bennett’s book characterizes the two women as being “cordial, not close,” with speculation that there’s tension over the first daughter’s prominent role as a White House senior adviser. Bennett writes that while her stepdaughter has been portrayed as a “savvy career mom,” Melania has been written off as a “vapid-model trophy wife” with limited authority.
With sources claiming that the first daughter’s international travel made her stepmother feel like “Ivanka was invading her turf,” Bennett writes that Melania may have resorted to sending a salvo via her own wardrobe.
In fact, Bennett speculates that the controversial army green Zara jacket splashed with the message “I Really Don’t Care. Do U?” worn by the first lady during a June 21, 2018 trip to visit migrant children in border detention facilities was a message aimed 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,” Bennett writes in Free, Melania.
That theory is at odds with Melania’s insistence that the dismissive statement was intended for “the people and the left-wing media that were criticizing me,” according to an interview with ABC News last year. The first lady was also accused by critics of being tone-deaf in light of her visit to the border, though the White House initially denied any hidden message behind the jacket.
In an excerpt from her book shared with her employer CNN, Bennett writes, “Melania Trump's relationship with Ivanka Trump isn't as chummy as it was pre-White House, according to friends and former White House sources.
“Although a White House spokesperson says the two women are ‘fine,’ and ‘supportive of one another,’ behind the scenes, the unprecedented nature of a first daughter involved in some of the similar activities usually relegated to a first lady has caused drama, other sources say.
“Whether it's the way in which they handle their social media, or how one steps into the spotlight when the other isn't around, there are cracks in the façade of the sunny ties between the two women closest and most influential to the president.”
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