The first lady's office dismissed the forthcoming book about her as "fiction"

By Adam Carlson
June 15, 2020 04:15 PM
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First Lady Melania Trump (left) and Ivanka Trump in

A disputed new biography about First Lady Melania Trump shades in longstanding reports that she and stepdaughter Ivanka Trump have sometimes had issues with each other.

According to Mary Jordan's The Art of Her Deal, Ivanka used to call dad Donald Trump's third wife, a former model, "The Portrait" because of how little the first lady spoke and Mrs. Trump has been heard calling Ivanka, a senior White House aide, "The Princess," as an apparent reflection of her entitlement or privilege.

These details from the book, which will be released on Tuesday, were included in New York Times review and follow other headline-grabbing details from Jordan's reporting.

(According to the Times review, the book recounts that Ivanka used her nickname for her stepmother "when younger," but is not more specific.)

A Pulitzer Prize-winner, Jordan drew from more than 100 interviews for the biography.

The first lady's spokeswoman dismissed The Art of Her Deal as "fiction" and a White House spokesman was similarly disdainful.

"Yet another book about Mrs. Trump with false information and sources," Stephanie Grisham, Mrs. Trump's chief of staff, said last week. "This book belongs in the fiction genre."

Separately, White House spokesman Judd Deere said: "These allegations couldn’t be further from the truth and had the Washington Post or the publishers of this book fact-checked this with Ivanka’s office, they would know that. Hit pieces like these only serve to conjure non-existent palace-intrigue stories unworthy of the paper they’re printed on."

First Lady Melania Trump (left) and Ivanka Trump
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images; SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images

The Art of Her Deal first made waves last week when details of it were published in the Post, including that — according to Jordan – Mrs. Trump, 50, renegotiated her prenuptial agreement with the president in the wake of his 2016 election win.

It is not the first indication there have been issues between the first lady and Ivanka, 38. A Vanity Fair article from 2017 described "a frostiness between the two," which Grisham denied at the time, saying they "have always shared a close relationship."

A 2019 biography of Mrs. Trump by CNN reporter Kate Bennett — likewise blasted by the White House — suggests the first lady's infamous “I Really Don’t Care, Do U?” jacket, worn while visiting migrant children, was a jab at Ivanka over Mrs. Trump's annoyance at Ivanka trying to take more credit for her work on softening the Trump administration's immigration stance.

Elsewhere in her new book, Jordan writes that the first lady "did not like how" Ivanka had initially made herself so comfortable in the White House and set up "firm boundaries."

As a source in both New York and Florida circles, where the Trumps travel, recently told PEOPLE: It's "no secret” that the first lady "isn’t pals with the three older Trump kids."

In a 2016 interview with PEOPLE, however, Ivanka praised her stepmom: “Melania is very smart, she’s very warm, she’s got an incredible heart.”

• With reporting by LINDA MARX