As Donald Trump geared up for an expected victory in November, a new book recounts that then-First Lady Melania Trump was doing everything in her power to ensure the election night party wasn’t held at the White House because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
It was a battle she ultimately lost, just like her husband lost the election.
Melania rejected Chief of Staff Mark Meadows’ request to use the White House for the event three times, according to “Frankly, We Did Win This Election: The Inside Story of How Trump Lost” by Michael C. Bender, which was published on Tuesday.
Just nine days before November’s Election Day, Meadows circled back again to explain that the White House was the best option because the original location, Trump International Hotel, was restricted by local regulations. “I’m not comfortable with it,” Melania, who preferred to have no parties at the White House during the pandemic, reportedly told Meadows. After Melania’s fourth rejection, Meadows took the request to Jared Kushner, who then brought the issue to Trump himself. Four days before the election he called his wife from Air Force One, writes Bender, a senior White House reporter for The Wall Street Journal.
“This is your night — do what you’re going to do,” Melania told her husband, according to the book. “You’re going to do it anyway.”
Since she couldn’t stop the party, she could isolate herself and her son from the crowd. “She would stay in the residence with Barron and her parents, and only come if Trump needed her to stand next to him for a public speech,” Bender writes.
Amazing new details on Melania Trump in @MichaelCBender's new book: She tried to stop both the Election Night party and the GOP convention from being held at White House as she was uncomfortable with the political use of mansion. Go buy his book! https://t.co/96FnVoZfb6
— Emily Goodin (@Emilylgoodin) July 12, 2021
Bender describes how the party on election night — which was “mostly a party for the kids” (i.e. the president’s eldest children Don Jr., Ivanka, and Eric Trump) — devolved after Trump and his team realized he was losing to Joe Biden. “What the f—?” Trump yelled into the phone after Fox News announced that Biden had won Arizona, according to the book.
While Trump was announcing loser lawsuits from behind a fake WH podium at his failing NJ golf course, Melania was seen sneaking out of Trump Tower. It's like Romeo and Juliet if they hated each other pic.twitter.com/RMcQO1uxYu
— Paul Rudnick (@PaulRudnickNY) July 8, 2021
Trump never allowed so many people in the residence, mostly because it drove Melania nuts, Bender writes. “But it didn’t matter now. No one could give Trump an answer he wanted to hear.”
“It was a s–tshow,” an official told Bender. “And the saddest thing I’ve ever seen.”