The Sad Truth Behind Melania Trump’s Relationship With Donald Trump

Donald Trump wasn’t thrilled about Michael Wolff’s shocking new book, Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House, which gives a behind-the-scenes look at Trump’s first year as president. Part of the reason might be that Wolff also offers a glimpse into Trump’s relationship with Melania. His depiction presents what appears to be a marriage lacking warmth and love.

Here’s the sad truth Fire and Fury revealed about Donald and Melania Trump’s relationship.

White House insiders see Ivanka as Trump’s ‘real wife’

Donald Trump kisses his daughter Ivanka Trump

It’s very odd to call someone’s daughter their “real wife.” | Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

It’s no secret that Donald Trump favors his daughter, Ivanka Trump. He and the first daughter have a close relationship. Their relationship is so close, in fact, that members of the White House inner circle have referred to her as Trump’s “real wife,” according to the book’s author. In the book, Wolff claims Trump treats Hope Hicks, his communications director, like his daughter, and Ivanka as if she were his wife, reports GQ. “[Hope] Hicks was in fact thought of as Trump’s real daughter, while Ivanka was thought of as his real wife,” wrote Wolff.

Next: Melania and Donald Trump go days sometimes without talking to each other.

They don’t keep in touch regularly

Donald and Melania Trump

Donald and Melania Trump could go days without conversing. | Alex Wong/Getty Images

In Fire and Fury, Michael Wolff wrote about how Melania and Trump would sometimes go without contacting each other for days at a time during Trump’s presidential campaign. What’s striking about this is that the couple wasn’t even separated by a significant distance. They were living together in Trump Tower, reports People. “He and Melania spent relatively little time together … Often she did not know where he was, or take much notice of that fact,” wrote Wolff.

Next: This is often a troubling sign of any marriage.

Trump and Melania are said to sleep in separate bedrooms

Melania Trump and Donald Trump arrive in Israel

These two aren’t cuddling much in the evening. | Jack Guez/AFP/Getty Images

Melania and Trump might share a name but that doesn’t mean they share everything. Unlike most married couples, the pair sleeps separately — as in separate bedrooms, reports The Guardian. Wolff says the Trumps are the first couple in the White House to do this since the Kennedy administration. They also use separate bathrooms. In an interview with Howard Stern, Trump expressed his relief that he’s never heard or witnessed Melania pass gas or use the bathroom.

Next: Donald Trump makes sure no one can get into his bedroom.

Trump asked for his bedroom to have a lock on the door

Door lock

Trump keeps his door locked at night. | tongdang5/iStock/Getty Images

Donald Trump likes his privacy — he also has a fear of being poisoned, according to the book. It’s unclear who he thinks is trying to poison him, but he seems to want reassurance no one will have unauthorized access to his sleeping quarters. Trump is so concerned with having his bedroom off-limits that he requested a lock for his door, claims the book. Wolff says the Secret Service was not happy about the request because they need access to the president’s bedroom, reports NBC News.

Next: Insiders are confused about their relationship.

Insiders are ‘perplexed’ by Melania and Donald Trump’s relationship

US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump attend a Hanukkah reception in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC, December 7, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

Melania has never been too interested in Trump’s business dealings. | Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

Wolff wrote that the Trumps’ marriage was “perplexing to almost everybody around him,” reports Newsweek. This is likely because of their lack of contact and the marital strain that was becoming obvious to those who worked closely with the couple. “Her husband moved between residences as he would move between rooms. Along with knowing little about his whereabouts, she knew little about his business, and took at best modest interest in it,” Wolff writes.

Next: Donald Trump calls Melania this kind of wife.

Trump calls Melania his ‘trophy wife’

Melania Trump Christmas Selfie

Trump looks at Melania as a “trophy wife.” | Melania Trump via Twitter

According to Wolff, Trump sees Melania as a trophy he has won, reports Newsweek. If this is indeed true, this isn’t too much of a surprise considering the president’s competitive nature. He also has a history of inappropriately complimenting his daughter, Ivanka, by repeatedly referring to her as “hot.” One famous example is the 1997 Miss Teen USA pageant when Ivanka was just 16 years old, reports The New York Times.

Next: Donald Trump supposedly likes to sleep with these.  

Trump said that he likes to sleep with his friends’ wives

Donald Trump and Melania Trump

Trump has never let marriage get in the way of who he wants to sleep with. | Ethan Miller/Getty Images for Showtime

Wolff claims, “Trump liked to say that one of the things that made life worth living was getting your friends’ wives into bed.”

Wolff says that Trump would pursue his friends’ wives and try to convince them that their husband wasn’t what they thought. He would then have a conversation with the friend and try to convince him that he can get a better woman than his wife; during this whole conversation, he’d have the wife on speakerphone listening in.

On this topic, Wolff quotes a close friend of Trump’s as saying that he’s similar to Bill Clinton, except “that Clinton had a respectable front and Trump did not.”

Next: Melania’s reaction when her husband won the election.

Melania wasn’t happy when Trump won the election

Melania Trump

Melania got way more than she bargained for when Trump won the presidency. | Kena Betancur/AFP/Getty Images

Wolff says everyone was surprised when Donald Trump won the presidential election. He notes Melania had the strongest reaction. He claims she cried because she was upset about the win, reports New York magazine. Perhaps she wasn’t looking forward to her loveless marriage playing out for the world to see and being subjected to constant scrutiny. According to Wolff, “shortly after 8pm on Election Night, when the unexpected trend — Trump might actually win — seemed confirmed, Don Jr. told a friend that his father, or DJT, as he calls him, looked as if he had seen a ghost. Melania was in tears — and not of joy.”

Next: Did Donald Trump believe he would become president?

Not even Trump thought he’d become president

President Donald Trump walks with first lady Melania Trump prior to their Marine One departure

Trump waves goodbye to expectations. | Alex Wong/Getty Images

Fire and Fury explores another potentially distressed relationship: that of Trump with himself, or at least the self that, according to Wolff, unexpectedly landed the presidency. Wolff wrote that Trump told on-again, off-again aide Sam Nunberg that he could be “the most famous man in the world,” but when asked, “But do you want to be president?” Nunberg received no answer.

Wolff wrote that Trump, convinced he would lose the election, wouldn’t give the “necessary” $50 million for his own campaign without a guaranteed victory. In the end, he reportedly loaned $10 million. Robert Mercer also allegedly offered Trump a $5 million donation, leaving Trump “baffled he would want to help out a losing campaign.”

Next: A harsh description of Donald Trump’s fathering style.

The author calls Trump an ‘absentee father’

Barron Trump with Donal Trump

Wolff claims Trump has very little to do with his son Barron. | John Moore/Getty Images

Wolff implies Trump was too busy running his businesses and focused on becoming president to be there for his family. The author says Trump wasn’t present for his first four children. He also claims Trump was even less of a father to his fifth child, Barron Trump. Said Wolff, “An absentee father for his first four children, Trump was even more absent for his fifth, Barron, his son with Melania. Now on his third marriage, he told friends he thought he had finally perfected the art: live and let live — ‘do your own thing.'”

Next: Melania’s father is a bit like Donald Trump and more fascinating things about her life.

Her father is a little bit like Donald Trump

President Donald Trump and Melania Trump arrive at a campaign rally.

Melania Trump’s childhood friends say Donald Trump reminds them of her father. | Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Childhood friends told The New York Times that Melania Trump’s father has a “larger-than-life personality.” In fact, that personality reminds them of Donald Trump. Viktor Knavs belonged to the Communist Party, which the Times characterizes as “an exclusive club whose members sometimes joined because of career ambitions as much as ideology.”

Knavs worked as a traveling car salesman. And according to the Times, childhood friends of Melania Trump said he carries himself “in a self-assured way that now reminded them of Mr. Trump.”

Next: Her parents don’t really understand his way of doing things.

But her parents don’t understand Donald Trump’s politics

Melania and Donald Trump exit Air Force One.

Melania Trump’s parents don’t understand Donald Trump’s politics. | Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Another interesting detail unearthed by The New York Times? Even though Melania Trump is now Donald Trump’s wife, her parents don’t necessarily identify with, or even understand, Donald Trump’s particular brand of politics. According to the Times, Melania Trump’s father complained to his longtime friend about Donald Trump’s “whiplash-inducing inconsistency.” Knavs said he didn’t understand his son-in-law’s desire for the presidency.

Next: Melania was born in a communist part of the world.

She was born in part of communist Yugoslavia

U.S. first lady Melania Trump listens to a toast by her husband, President Donald Trump.

Melania Trump was raised in a communist country. | Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Melania Trump was born Melanija Knavs in 1970 in Slovenia. NBC reported that her “small industrial hometown,” Sevnica, was part of communist Yugoslavia. The town of 5,000 people bears some similarities to the American Rust Belt communities that helped to elect Donald Trump. Many of Sevnica’s plants have shut down, including the government-owned textile factory where Melania Trump’s mother worked.

During the 1991 collapse of communism, 2 million Slovenian citizens gained independence from Yugoslavia. And as Sevnica emerges from a period of high unemployment, many residents are excited that Melania Trump has become the first lady of the United States.

Next: She studied this while in school.

She studied design and architecture

U.S. first lady Melania Trump arrives at the East Room of the White House.

Melania Trump briefly studied design and architecture before becoming a model. | Alex Wong/Getty Images

The New York Times learned that Melania Trump left Sevnica in 1985. She went to Ljubljana to attend the Secondary School of Design and Photography. In January 1987, photographer Stane Jerko spotted her and asked whether she wanted to be a model. He sent photos of her to a Slovenian cultural center, which accepted her to a fashion course for models.

After high school, she began and dropped out of architecture school at the University of Ljubljana. She was more focused on modeling, and placed as a runner-up in Jana Magazine’s Slovenian Face of the Year contest in 1992. She began a successful career as a model, primarily in print. Not long after, she Germanized her name to Melania Knauss and launched her career as an international model.

Next: Here’s why she came to the United States.

She came to the United States to work as a model

U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trummp pose for photos.

Melania Trump’s career as a model brought her to the United States. | Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images 

Modeling took Melania from Slovenia to Milan to Paris and then to New York. She initially moved to New York as a model for ID Models. She then got her green card in 2001 and became an American citizen five years later. But that story is the subject of considerable controversy.

The Associated Press reported that Melania Trump earned $20,056 for 10 modeling jobs in the U.S. that occurred “in the seven weeks before she had legal permission to work in the country.” She first came to the U.S. on August 27, 1996, on a B1/B2 visitor visa. Then, she obtained an H-1B work visa on October 18, 1996. Yet she was paid for 10 assignments between September 10 and October 15, a period when she wasn’t legally allowed to perform paid work. Vox noted it’s also unclear how she got her green card.

Next: This talent is useful and impressive.

She can speak many languages

U.S. President Donald Trump waves to supporters with Melania Trump

Melania Trump is one of several multilingual first ladies. | Evan Vucci/Getty Images

Melania Trump can speak many languages — by some accounts, as many as six. CNN reported that Donald Trump’s wife can speak Slovenian, French, Serbian, German, Italian, and English. People reported in 2009, when Barron Trump was just 3 years old, that he could already converse in Slovenian, English, and French.

The International Business Times pointed out that Melania Trump joins several other first ladies with foreign-language skills. For instance, Louisa Adams could speak Dutch. Pat Nixon could speak some Spanish. Lou Hoover could speak Mandarin Chinese, as could Herbert Hoover. And reportedly, the Hoovers spoke the language in the White House to keep others from eavesdropping on their conversations.

Next: Donald Trump has only been here once.

Donald Trump has only visited Slovenia once

U.S. President Donald Trump walks with his wife Melania Trump.

Even though Melania Trump is from Slovenia, Donald Trump has only visited the country once. | Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Despite Donald Trump’s jet-setting lifestyle, he hasn’t spent much time in Slovenia. In fact, The New Yorker reports that he has visited Melania Trump’s native country only once. That visit took place in July 2002. And it lasted for a grand total of three hours.

During that time, Donald and Melania Trump landed at Ljubljana’s Brnik airport in Trump’s Boeing 727. They dined with Viktor and Amalija Knavs at the Grand Hotel Toplice on Lake Bled. According to The New Yorker, “Trump’s stopover at Lake Bled was the only time he has been to Slovenia.”

Out of 450 guests at Donald and Melania’s wedding, just three guests — Viktor, Amalija, and Melania’s sister, Ines — were Slovenian. And interestingly enough, Donald Trump only speaks English, a language that Melania Trump’s parents reportedly don’t speak.

Next: Melania has embraced these things about Donald Trump.

Melania has adopted many of her husband’s habits

First Lady Melania Trump is seen the Salute to Our Armed Services Inaugural Ball.

Melania Trump has picked up a lot of habits from her husband. | Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

The New Yorker reported that Melania Trump “appears to have internalized many aspects of Donald’s culture.” Melania Trump reportedly refrains from drinking (as does Donald Trump). She also doesn’t break ranks with the Trump camp, even when asked about topics she could easily joke about, such as his unpopular hairstyle. Additionally, “she has taken on her husband’s signature pout,” according to The New Yorker. However, Melania Trump made a point of telling CNN, “I don’t agree with everything that he says, but you know, that is normal. I’m my own person; I tell him what I think.”

Additional reporting by Jess Bolluyt.

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