Three days after U.S. Justice Department filed a complaint against Melania Trump’s ex-friend, Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, for writing an embarrassing tell-all about her, the first lady herself launched a scathing attack, accusing Winston Wolkoff of being “an opportunist” who took advantage of her “good will” to cash in.
Melania Trump tweeted out izjava Friday in which she tries to contrast her “Be Best” initiative to serve the American people and help children with Winston Wolkoff’s “dishonest” actions to advance her “personal agenda.”
When the media chooses to focus on self-serving individuals & salacious gossip instead of work to help our next generation, it needs to be talked about: ⬇️ https://t.co/0VIv1DcG35
- Melania Trump (@FLOTUS) Listopada 16, 2020
In “Melania and Me: The Rise and Fall of My Friendship With the First Lady,” Winston Wolkoff described herself as a former confidante of the first lady, saying they met when she worked for Vogue magazine, organizing such events as the Met Gala, and the then-Melania Knauss was the little-known model girlfriend of Donald Trump.
Winston Wolkoff wrote that the first lady was selfish and image-obsessed, and depicted her as having a contentious and competitive relationship with her stepdaughter, Ivanka Trump, and being largely unfazed by her husband’s lewd comments about women and his alleged infidelities with a porn star and Playboy Playmate.
Melania Trump also claims Winston Wolkoff “barely” knew her, even though the first lady recruited her to organize events for President Donald Trump’s 2017 inauguration and to voluntarily work for her in the White House.
The famously private Melania Trump also apparently trusted Winston Wolkoff enough to drop f-bombs in their conversations and speak openly about her frustrations. She complained about having to decorate the White House at Christmas and the way people criticized her actions over her husband’s child-separation policy. Winston Wolkoff secretly recorded her conversations with the first lady, and quoted her extensively in her book. She also has played portions of the recordings in recent interviews.
With regard to the recordings, Melania Trump said, “This is a woman who secretly recorded our phone calls, releasing portions from me that were out of context, then wrote a book of idle gossip trying to distort my character.”
Melania Trump also despaired at the way media outlets have given so much coverage to the revelations in Winston Wolkoff’s book while overlooking her “Be Best” efforts.
“Once again, outlets chose to focus their coverage on pettiness over my positive work,” Melania Trump said. “There are plenty of opportunists out there who only care about themselves, and unfortunately seek to self-aggrandize by knowingly taking advantage of my goodwill.”
In its lawsuit, the Justice Department alleged that Winston Wolkoff violated a nondisclosure agreement she signed when she agreed to volunteer to help the first lady in the White House, objavio je New York Times. The lawsuit said the NDA forbade her from disclosing confidential details she learned during her time working for the first lady.
Legal experts said the lawsuit raises new concerns about whether Trump is using the powers of the Justice Department to settle personal political scores.
“This is just the latest move by the Trump family to try to turn the Justice Department into its own private law firm to silence those who speak critically of the Trumps,” said Washington-based attorney Mark Zaid u op-ed for the Washington Post.
“The government can pursue people for disclosing classified information, but it can’t stop them from publishing books just because they might make the president’s family look bad,” Zaid added.
“So now Bill Barr is not just DONALD Trump’s lawyer/fixer-but he is also MELANIA Trump’s lawyer?” Tweetano legal analyst and former federal prosecutor Glenn Kirschner. “And Barr has deployed the DOJ against Stephanie Wolkoff, Melania’s former friend who wrote a tell-all book? Barr continues to soil the DOJ in horrific ways.”
An attorney for Winston Wolkoff said in a statement that the lawsuit is “entirely meritless” and violates the First Amendment.
“It represents an effort by the Trumps to enlist the D.O.J. to pursue entirely personal goals and interests,” attorney Lorin L. Reisner said.
Experts agreed that Winston Wolkoff’s First Amendment rights may override the Trump administration’s pursuit of retribution, the New York Times said.
Another expert agreed that the D.O.J. arguments may push the limits of government secrecy, because Winston Wolkoff would not have had access to classified information, Heidi Kitrosser, a professor of law at the University of Minnesota Law School and an expert in constitutional law and government secrecy, told the Times. National security officials usually sign agreements to not release classified material.
The private conversations Winston Wolkoff described with Melania Trump also were “akin to the kinds of accounts that former aides in many White Houses go on to disclose in memoirs,” the Times added.
Kitrosser furthermore questioned the argument that Melania Trump’s conversations with Winston Wolkoff are protected by executive privilege, saying executive privilege usually allows secrets between a president and his advisers, not between first ladies and her aides, Kitrosser told the Times.
It’s also questionable whether the president or his wife can expect to legally enforce nondisclosure agreements on government employees, reports have said. As a real estate developer and reality TV star, Trump routinely had employees sign non-disclosure agreements, but even Trump’s former White House counsel Donald McGahn doubted they could be enforced with White House officials, though he had officials sign them anyway to assuage Trump, the Times said.
Cet article est apparu en premier (en Anglais) sur https://www.mercurynews.com/2020/10/16/melania-trump-follows-doj-in-going-after-a-ex-friend-and-political-enemy/