Melania Trump Will Decorate White House for Christmas After Dismissing Tradition in Recording
Following her husband’s election loss, Christmas will be the last holiday for which she will be in charge of decorating the “People’s House” in Washington, D.C.
The typically cheerful holiday preparation comes at a tumultuous moment for both the president and first lady.
President Donald Trump, 74, is refusing to concede to his election loss to President-elect Joe Biden, while Mrs. Trump, 50, will be taking on the holiday decoration after secretly recorded tapes highlighted the first lady’s disdain for such duties last month.
Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, Mrs. Trump’s former friend and White House aide, shared the secret audio tapes with CNN last month while promoting her tell-all book, Melania & Me.
In the tapes, Mrs. Trump was dismissive of the traditional first lady role.
“I'm working ... my a-- off on the Christmas stuff, that you know, who gives a f--- about the Christmas stuff and decorations?” Mrs. Trump is heard saying in the tapes. “But I need to do it, right?"
Mrs. Trump lambasted Wolkoff afterwards, criticizing her as someone who released recordings of their conversations "out of context" and wrote a memoir of "idle gossip trying to distort my character."
A spokeswoman for Mrs. Trump tells PEOPLE the first lady is "looking forward to once again opening the People’s House for Christmas" next month.
"It is an annual tradition that she has enjoyed designing since June," Stephanie Grisham says. "The decor will be showcased and celebrated across the country in December."
Mrs. Trump will be going forward with the annual tradition in the wake of her husband’s election loss.
The president is refusing to admit he lost the election. Instead, he is waging what legal experts have called “Hail Mary” legal battles across the county, in an attempt to overturn the results.
Trump has been criticized by both Democratic and Republican officials for continuing to push baseless conspiratorial theories alleging the election was “stolen” from him.
Trump’s campaign lawyers have lawsuits ongoing in Pennsylvania, while his long-shot efforts have been struck down in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan and Nevada, in recent days.
Amid the 2020 election cycle, the Trump administration had been recruiting greeters and musicians for the 2020 holiday season on its website.
Last year, Mrs. Trump opted for a patriotic and predominantly bright-and-white holiday theme.
The 2019 white-out theme came one year after the first lady defended her decorative choice when social media users widely recoiled at the blood-red trees she filled the White House with in 2018, comparing them to dystopian imagery from The Handmaid's Tale.
“We are in 21st century and everybody has a different taste,” Mrs. Trump said at the time, adding, "I think they look fantastic."