New reports have claimed that former United States first lady Melania Trump was not supportive of her husband's decision to host parties amid the coronavirus pandemic, but she ultimately lost the argument over the election night party.
"Frankly, We Did Win This Election: The Inside Story of How Trump Lost," a new book by Michael C Bender claims that the former FLOTUS did everything in her power to ensure the party that President Donald Trump was planning for an expected victory in November wasn't held at the White House. The book, which was published on Tuesday, claims that she rejected Chief of Staff Mark Meadows' request to use the White House for the event three times, as per People.
However, just nine days before November's Election Day, Meadows circled back again insisting that the White House was the best option for the party, because the original location, Trump International Hotel, was restricted by local regulations. Melania, who had recently recovered from COVID-19 at the time, told Meadows that she was "not comfortable with it."
Timothy Harleth, the White House's chief usher, and her spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham, who warned her about the potential length of the party, also confirmed her feelings. "Win or lose, there are going to be protests that night. Are we going to end up with a 300-person slumber party at the White House if these people can't get out?" Grisham, who resigned from her post following the Capitol riots, had told the then-FLOTUS according to the book.
Melania herself had grown vary of large gatherings since the Rose Garden ceremony for future Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett in September 2020, which had a significant indoor gathering, and was later described as a "super-spreader event" by Dr. Anthony Fauci. Her husband had already been under heavy criticism for his handling of the pandemic and his open disregard of preventative measures like social distancing and face masks.
In addition, Donald, Melania, and their teenage son Barron, all got infected with the virus in the fall of 2020, following a presidential debate with Joe Biden where the Trump children refused to wear masks despite being told by the organisers.
However, after Melania rejected Meadows' request for the party for the fourth time, he took the request to the president's son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, who then brought the issue to the president himself. Four days before the election, Donald called his wife of 15 years from Air Force One, and asked her to grant permission for the gathering, claims the book.
"This is your night — do what you're going to do. You're going to do it anyway," Mrs. Trump reportedly told her husband.
In such cases, where Melania failed in stopping a party, she would isolate herself and her son from the crowd and stay in her part of the residence where her parents also lived. "She would only come if Trump needed her to stand next to him for a public speech," Bender writes.