There is a persistent cultural narrative that First Lady Melania Trump is something of a reluctant accomplice to her husband’s work. Her aloofness, blank stares, and initial unwillingness to join her husband at the White House after his inauguration in January 2016 have all been pointed to as possible proof that she does not approve of the president and his administration. A new book about Melania by Pulitzer Prize–winning Washington Post reporter Mary Jordan, however, suggests that FLOTUS is not only an encouraging partner to her husband but that she is just as much of a fabulist as he is.
In The Art of Her Deal: The Untold Story of Melania Trump, which is set to be released June 16, Jordan details several lies Melania has allegedly used to either advance herself or failed to correct over the years. These include:
• Failing to correct reporters when they incorrectly cited her age, writing that she was younger than she actually was.
• Saying she did not get plastic surgery, although multiple photographers who have worked with her said they had scars that said she had gotten work done.
• Claiming in sworn testimony that she has a bachelor’s degree, although she never graduated from the competitive architecture program she attended at the University of Ljubljana.
• Claiming that she can speak four or five languages while, according to Jordan, “Photographers and others who have worked with her over the years — including native speakers of Italian, French, and German — told me that they never heard her use more than a few words of those languages.”
Jordan also writes that, while Donald and Melania say they met at a club during Fashion Week in 1998, she found little evidence to support this, and multiple sources said the couple had started dating earlier than that.
These lies, Jordan suggests, are evidence that Melania is just as devoted to mythmaking as her husband is. “Both are avid creators of their own history,” Jordan writes, adding: “She is … much more like him than it appears.”
And as for her husband’s politics: “There is ample evidence that from the very beginning, Melania not only accepted and embraced Trump’s political aspirations but was also an encouraging partner.”