The tapes were played exclusively on CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360” Thursday night and recorded by Wolkoff after she left the White House.
“I work … my a ** off on the Christmas stuff, you know who doesn’t give a shit about the Christmas stuff and decorations? But I have to do it, right?”
She went on, “OK, and then I̵
The politics Melania Trump was referring to were different from that of her husband, President Donald Trump. Under former President Barack Obama, children were only separated from parents if authorities had concerns about their welfare or could not confirm that the adult was indeed their legal guardian, but not as a blanket policy like under Trump – until a judge forced it stop the administration.
In a statement, Melania beat up Trump’s chief of staff Stephanie Grisham Wolkoff for releasing the recording.
“Secretly recording the first lady and deliberately breaking an NDA to publish a great book is a clear attempt at relevance. The timing for that remains suspect – as is this never-ending exercise in self-pity and narcissism,” she said in a statement .
In another recording, Melania Trump emphasizes the reaction of migrant children brought “by coyotes” as evidence of the quality of prisons and “the way they look after them”.
“The kids say, ‘Wow, I’ll have my own bed? I’ll sleep on the bed? I’ll have a closet for my clothes?’ It’s so sad to hear that, but they didn’t have that in their own countries, they sleep on the floor, “says Melania Trump on the tape. “They are well looked after there. But you know, yes, they are not with their parents, it’s sad. But if they come here alone or with coyotes or illegally, you know you have to do something.”
The first lady also questioned the authenticity of reports by some immigrants fleeing dangers in their home countries.
“A lot like mothers and kids are learning how to do it. They go over and say, ‘Oh, we’re getting killed by a gang member, we’re going, you know, it’s so dangerous.'” Trump said, mimicking a dramatic voice. “So you can stay here.”
“It’s not true that they would, you know what I mean,” Trump said, adding, “They are not professional but they are taught by other people what to say to get over there, and you know let them stay here. Because they could easily stay in Mexico, but they don’t want to stay in Mexico, because Mexico doesn’t care about them the way America does. ”
Wolkoff told Cooper Thursday that she believed Melania Trump may have felt maternal concern for the children but got past it to fit into the government’s agenda.
“I think that as a mother, those maternal instincts were triggered in her and she took care of them,” Wolkoff said. “But there is no husband to come to, the leader of the free world, to discuss how she’s feeling about it. Regardless, she steps in line and just decides what she heard and what was hers was said what is rule of law is in our country. “
Wolkoff added, “On the other hand, Melania, the First Lady and President traditions have gone out the window with this couple and I believe that if there were so much could be done, but again, no support. ” No understanding.”
Wolkoff, a former Vogue magazine employee responsible for high-dollar events like the Met Gala, has known Melania Trump for more than a decade. The two women were close for several years while both lived in New York and operated in similar social circles.
Wolkoff was Trump’s first job for the east wing. He served as the first lady’s senior advisor, wrote speeches and helped design the Be Best platform.
However, as investigations into opening activities unfolded, Wolkoff’s relationship with Trump disintegrated due to the amount of money Wolkoff and her events company allegedly put in their pockets while planning and executing the inauguration.
This story has been updated with more from the interview on CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360” and additional background information.
CNN’s Maegan Vazquez contributed to this report.