Home US Melania Trump only visited her East Wing office TWICE as first lady so aides turned it into a ‘swag room’ to store and wrap gifts

Melania Trump only visited her East Wing office TWICE as first lady so aides turned it into a ‘swag room’ to store and wrap gifts

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Melania Trump walks among her Christmas decorations in the East Wing of the White House, a place she rarely visited, in November 2017.

Melania Trump only visited her East Wing office twice as first lady, and because she used it so infrequently, her aides converted it into a “gift room” for wrapping gifts.

Aides could only recall two instances in which Melania Trump walked from the White House’s second-floor residence to her East Wing office: once, when then-aide Stephanie Winston Wolkoff had called a meeting, and another “occurred when “She was close and wanted to surprise.” the personal hers”, author Katie Rogers reveals in his next book ‘American Woman: The Transformation of the Modern First Lady,’ Hillary Clinton to Jill Biden.’

So attendees turned it into what they called the “gift room”: a place to store and wrap gifts since “her desk was the only empty surface large enough to assemble gifts.”

Melania Trump walks among her Christmas decorations in the East Wing of the White House, a place she rarely visited, in November 2017.

Melania Trump walks among her Christmas decorations in the East Wing of the White House, a place she rarely visited, in November 2017.

Rogers’ book, published Tuesday, highlights modern first ladies as two of them: Jill Biden and Melania Trump – wait to see if their husbands’ quest for a second term in the White House is successful.

The evolution of the role is traced from Hillary Clinton to Jill Biden.

For Melania Trump, reveals Rogers, White House reporter for the New York Times New details about Melania’s rivalry with stepdaughter Ivanka Trump, how Melania viewed her role as first lady and what can you do if gets four more years at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Katie Rogers' book about the modern first lady 'American Woman' comes out Tuesday

Katie Rogers' book about the modern first lady 'American Woman' comes out Tuesday

Katie Rogers’ book about the modern first lady ‘American Woman’ comes out Tuesday

Melania was a mysterious first lady. She was rarely seen in public, He gave few interviews and even his signature ‘Be Best’ initiative left people wondering exactly what it meant (and hoped to achieve).

One of the surprising revelations of American Woman was how little physical time Melania spent in the East Wing, the section of offices that houses the first lady’s staff, the White House Visitors Office, and the office of military affairs.

Given the lack of use by its designated occupant, assistants reused it.

They had Ikea-type shelves installed.

Gifts stored there, Rogers reveals, included: First Lady-themed coins and key chains, bowls engraved with the image of the White House, a variety of dishes made of pewter, plush robes for guests of the Executive Residence, leather desk sets, salt. Pepper shakers, glass bookends, baby rattles, golf balls and golf towels.

Gifts were kept under lock and key and entry required a signature on an official sheet.

Melania enjoyed selecting and sending gifts to friends and allies of Trump. She did so from the White House residence, using a folder containing photographs of the inventory to make her choices.

There was one major downside to Melania’s absence that would affect first lady Jill Biden.

Melania Trump meets with Microsoft President Brad Smith and Chief Communications Officer Carol Ann Brown in May 2019 in the Map Room, a location she preferred to meet with her aides because it was close to the company's residence. White House.

Melania Trump meets with Microsoft President Brad Smith and Chief Communications Officer Carol Ann Brown in May 2019 in the Map Room, a location she preferred to meet with her aides because it was close to the company's residence. White House.

Melania Trump meets with Microsoft President Brad Smith and Chief Communications Officer Carol Ann Brown in May 2019 in the Map Room, a location she preferred to meet with her aides because it was close to the company’s residence. White House.

Melania Trump, with Donald Trump in the White House in 2018, rarely appeared in public and, when she did, her assistants tried to get her to go to meetings or record videos since her hair and makeup were already done.

Melania Trump, with Donald Trump in the White House in 2018, rarely appeared in public and, when she did, her assistants tried to get her to go to meetings or record videos since her hair and makeup were already done.

Melania Trump, with Donald Trump in the White House in 2018, rarely appeared in public and, when she did, her assistants tried to get her to go to meetings or record videos since her hair and makeup were already done.

The White House military office annexed a set of offices traditionally used by the first lady’s team, turning the unused space into a sensitive information facility, a secure place where secret and classified information can be viewed or exchanged. The facility still exists today, much to the chagrin of several Biden East Wing aides who say they could use the property.’

Office space in the White House complex is at a premium, and once it’s gone, it’s gone.

Melania, not interested in office life, camped out in the dorm, where she occasionally called staff to update them on events two floors below.

But her interest in the voluntary, unpaid role of first lady waned as the Trump administration progressed.

At first, he met with important guests and their assistants in the Map Room, which is near the elevator to the family residence and was easily accessible.

Melania’s small staff would often try to track her down on days “when she had her hair and makeup done – usually for events where she appeared with her husband – and convince her to shoot a video or attend a planning event for Be Best,” writes Rogers. . “It always felt like a victory when she said yes.”

But one area Melania Trump was interested in was preserving the historic mansion for future use. She had studied architecture and design in school and seemed to genuinely enjoy playing a preservation role at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

He oversaw much-needed renovations that brought the White House into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

He formed a committee to renovate the White House rose garden and also installed a tennis pavilion with the goal of creating a space for future first families to use.

Both measures generated instant criticism. “Melania praised the completion of the tennis pavilion and was immediately criticized for celebrating an architectural improvement amid the coronavirus pandemic,” Rogers writes. “The redesign of the Rose Garden, although approved by a preservation committee, was derided by the public as an unnecessary whitewash.”

Aides say Melania Trump's interest in being first lady waned as Trump's term progressed

Aides say Melania Trump's interest in being first lady waned as Trump's term progressed

Aides say Melania Trump’s interest in being first lady waned as Trump’s term progressed

Melania Trump’s Rose Garden renovation was immediately criticized as an “unnecessary facelift”

Melania Trump added a tennis pavilion to the White House grounds

Melania Trump added a tennis pavilion to the White House grounds

Melania Trump added a tennis pavilion to the White House grounds

Melania did not campaign much for her husband in the 2020 election. Unlike her husband, she accepted his loss “in large part, her aides said, because it meant she could return to her old life.”

Within days, she had instructed staff on how to pack up the residence, was researching schools in Florida for Barron, and was ready to return to Palm Beach.

“Her main concern was whether she would still have access to security and people who could give her a ride,” her top aide, Stephanie Grisham, told Rogers.

As a former first lady, she receives lifetime Secret Service protection.

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