‘September Surprise’: Trump Family Hit With New Secret Audio Recording Scandal

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First Lady Melania Trump’s former friend Stephanie Winston Wolkoff has a book coming out soon called Melania and Me: The Rise and Fall of My Friendship with the First Lady, and during an appearance on Rachel Maddow’s MSNBC show this week, she confirmed that she has tapes to back up at least some of the anecdotes that she shares in her book. Wolkoff is releasing the book after she was made into a scapegoat for some of the legal problems surrounding the committee that handled Trump’s inauguration in 2017, which she worked with. That committee has, among other issues, been accused in court by the D.C. Attorney General of being improperly used to benefit the Trump family, and other financial mismanagement may have taken place.

Speaking with Maddow this week, Wolkoff explained:

‘One of the reasons why I’m going to share this with you this evening is because I’ve been accused of taping my friend, as the White House said, and how horrible of a human being I am for doing that. And they’re right. If she was my friend, it would be horrible, but Melania and the White House have accused me of criminal activity, had publicly shamed and fired me and made me their scapegoat. At that moment in time, that’s when I pressed record, she was no longer my friend… I was going to do anything in my power to make sure that I was protected. And at first I really did think maybe she would come to my aid, maybe she would tell the truth. She turned her back, she did. She folded like a deck of cards and I was shocked when she did it.’

Watch Wolkoff’s comments in the video below:

At one point, Wolkoff worked as an adviser for the First Lady in the White House. The New York Times has reported that “senior administration officials privately said she had been ousted from her job, primarily because the president and the first lady were angry over the spending” surrounding the inauguration, which has drawn the legal scrutiny. (Allegedly, she was also fired because of being “difficult to work with.”)

Previously, Wolkoff has retorted:

‘Was I fired? No. Did I personally receive $26 million or $1.6 million? No. Was I thrown under the bus? Yes.’

$26 million of inaugural cash went to a company that she had incorporated, and about $1.6 million went to a firm that she led. According to the Times, Wolkoff personally received about half a million dollars. As for the firing dispute, Wolkoff says she was let go because all of the administration’s “gratuitous service agreements” (including hers) were getting cancelled rather than an issue with her specifically. Those kinds of agreements were informal arrangements for services.

Books have haunted the White House in the past. For instance, Trump’s former national security adviser John Bolton has published a book revealing a slew of the president’s corruption.

Trump’s own niece Mary has also published a book that essentially contains a psychological profile of the president. Trump responded by calling Mary “unstable” and “shunned,” essentially proving her point about his own belligerence.