In an excerpt for New York Magazine, published Wednesday, author Michael Wolff alleges in his book, Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House, that the first lady “was in tears — and not of joy” when Donald Trump won the presidential election in November 2016.
Stephanie Grisham, communications director for the first lady, said in a statement obtained by PEOPLE, “This book is clearly going to be sold in the bargain fiction section. Mrs. Trump supported her husband’s decision to run for president and in fact, encouraged him to do so. She was confident he would win and was very happy when he did.”
Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House Press Secretary, also released a statement, saying, “This book is filled with false and misleading accounts from individuals who have no access or influence with the White House. Participating in a book that can only be described as trashy tabloid fiction exposes their sad desperate attempts at relevancy.”
The excerpt reported Melania “had been assured by her husband that he wouldn’t become president” and that she would have been happy to “return to inconspicuously lunching.”
In November, the president fired back at a report that claimed his wife had dreaded his win in the election and that she 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. “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 Vanity Fair piece about the “enigmatic first lady.”
In the article, reporter Sarah Ellison reported that a longtime friend of the Trumps told her of Melania: “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.”