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What goes down behind closed doors at the White House? The New York Times published a story on Friday that offers a look behind the curtains surrounding Donald and Melania Trump’s relationship. In it, she’s painted as a “mysterious” First Lady, one that more than a year after moving to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue has not quite adjusted to her political duties. Melania and "Donald," as the story says she calls him, do often quip, however, her loyalty doesn’t appear to falter.
At a dinner in Bedminster, N.J., last week while on vacation, Melania reportedly sung the praises of POTUS. “I just want to thank the president for doing an incredible job … and for all of your help,” she said to him. Despite this odd dynamic, the story confirms that the couple does sleep in separate bedrooms and that they definitely don’t bunk together while traveling.
That said, Donald apparently listens to her often and his decisions could be swayed by her influence. As the Times put it, Melania has “political views different from her husband’s,” making it hard for them to “compromise.” One thing they definitely couldn’t agree on? Furniture. She chose new décor for the White House months before her arrival, and Donald eventually brought his own, a move that proves that despite how much he does keep her wishes in mind, he tries to make sure his word is the last one. (Her team insisted that “they both chose the décor.”)
While the East Wing maintains that the “I Really Don’t Care, Do U?” jacket Melania worn in June to visit migrant detention facilities didn’t come with a hidden message, a source told the Times that she wore it in response to critics balking at the idea of her wanting to make such a trip despite her husband’s “zero-tolerance” immigration policy. “No one tells the first lady what to do,” Stephanie Grisham, Melania’s communications director, reaffirmed. “Our office has nothing to do with what clothing choices she makes and this situation was no different.”
And while the details of her relationship are fascinating, it’s worth nothing that Melania — who has an Hermès Birkin collection worth at least $114,000 — hasn’t shied away from living lavishly, despite her role. Her staff of 10 may be small in comparison to that of other first ladies (Michelle Obama and Laura Bush had more than 25), but there is one thing she doesn’t skimp on: her hair.
According to the story, Melania flies to New York at least once a month to meet with a “circle of associates” along with her sister and, get this, her hairstylist. Flying thousands of miles to get a quick touch-up? Sounds expensive.
When she is at the White House, she works with the kitchen staff to try and suggest a healthier meal plan for Donald (he likes to have two scoops of ice cream for dessert), takes up Pilates, and focuses on the look of her home by working with the White House Historical Association. Oh, and she also keeps a close eye on her 12-year-old son Barron.
The more you know.