President Donald Trump is firing back after a new report said his wife, Melania, had dreaded her husband winning the 2016 presidential election and didn’t want to be first lady “come hell or high water.”
“Melania, our great and very hard working First Lady, who truly loves what she is doing, always thought that ‘if you run, you will win,’ ” Trump tweeted Tuesday morning. “She would tell everyone that, ‘no doubt, he will win.’ I also felt I would win (or I would not have run) – and Country is doing great!“
Though Trump didn’t name the report in his tweet, his language about his wife truly loving her role and the repeated mentions of her belief he would win directly addresses two of the more eye-catching points in a recent Vanity Fair piece about the “enigmatic first lady.”
In the article, reporter Sarah Ellison describes Melania Trump as perhaps the most ill-suited and least prepared first lady ever, with a shadowy private life and less than half the staff of predecessors like Laura Bush and Michelle Obama.
Ellison reports that a longtime friend of the Trumps’ told her of the first lady: “This isn’t something she wanted and it isn’t something he ever thought he’d win. She didn’t want this come hell or high water. I don’t think she thought it was going to happen.”
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Ironically, Melania may have been the deciding factor in Trump’s resolution to run.
In 2014, when Trump was yet again weighing a presidential bid, his wife essentially urged him to put up or shut up, former Trump adviser Roger Stone tells Vanity Fair.
“She was very clearly the one who said, ‘Either run or don’t run,’ ” Stone said. Paraphrasing Melania, he added: “ ‘Your friends are tired of this striptease. Every four years you talk about it.’ ”
“She said, ‘It’s not my thing. It’s Donald’s thing,’ ” Stone continued. “And I think she understood he was going to be unhappy if he didn’t run.”
But even though Melania was “the one who pushed [her husband] to run just by saying run or do not run,” according to Stone, he adds: “I don’t think she was ever too crazy about it.”