Melania Trump Never Thought He'd Win

'She didn't want this come hell or high water,' an insider tells 'Vanity Fair'
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 27, 2017 10:50 AM CST
Melania Trump Never Thought He'd Win
President Trump and first lady Melania Trump arrive with Chinese President Xi Jinping, left back, and Xi's wife, Peng Liyuan, right back, for an opera performance at the Forbidden City on Nov. 8, 2017, in Beijing.   (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Count Melania Trump among those surprised that her husband won the presidency. A profile of the first lady at Vanity Fair quotes two insiders who say that Melania gave Donald Trump an ultimatum of sorts: Either run for the presidency or stop brooding about it. "She was very clearly the one who said, 'Either run or don't run,'" says Roger Stone, who paraphrases Melania's message to her husband: "Your friends are tired of this striptease. Every four years you talk about it.'" And with that quasi-encouragement, Trump ran, but Melania wasn't counting on a victory. "She didn't want this come hell or high water," says another source, described as a longtime friend of the Trumps. "I don't think she thought it was going to happen." (In a statement to CNN, the first lady's spokeswoman says Melania is "honored" by her role and that the story is filled with "false assertions.")

The profile goes on to recount her unusual approach to her new role as first lady, including a relatively sparse staff and her decision to remain in New York with son Barron for the first five months of her husband's presidency. But the latter dovetails with what seems to be Melania's No. 1 priority: shielding the 11-year-old (who speaks her native Slovenian) from the media glare. The story provides a mixed view on the relationship between Melania and Donald, with one of her friends saying it is "old news" that they lead largely separate lives. A longtime friend of the president, however, has a warmer picture. "The one who has the most control over Donald is Melania, 100 percent," says Thomas Barrack Jr. "And he listens to her and adores her." (Click for the full profile.)

Stories to sink your teeth into.
Get our roundup of longform stories every Saturday.
Sign up
Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.