When Melania Trump put off moving from Trump Tower to the White House for six months at the start of 2017, she said it was to prevent her then-11-year-old son, Barron, from having to pick up and move schools midyear.
That was true ― but she also used that time to strengthen her financial safety net by renegotiating the terms of her prenuptial agreement with President Donald Trump, according to a new book.
Melania also needed time to cool off after revelations about her husband’s reported affairs made news headlines during the campaign, along with his infamous “grab them by the pussy” comment on a leaked “Access Hollywood” tape, according to “The Art of Her Deal” by Washington Post reporter Mary Jordan.
She and Barron continued to live in New York City while he finished out the year at his Upper West Side private school, an arrangement that strained Secret Service resources. The pair moved to Washington in June, and Barron was enrolled at St. Andrew’s Episcopal School in Potomac, Maryland.
“The Art of Her Deal” is based on more than 100 interviews with people who have known the first lady, from former Slovenian schoolmates to former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, the Post reported Saturday after receiving an advance copy.
In mid-2018, Melania Trump finally settled on terms she liked, the book said.
“She wanted proof in writing that when it came to financial opportunities and inheritance, Barron would be treated as more of an equal to Trump’s oldest three children,” Jordan wrote, according to the Post.
Jordan said that, despite public perception, Melania is very similar to her husband and even has the same “mythmaking” instincts. The reporter found little evidence to support the first couple’s story of how they met, which centered on a night at a club during Fashion Week in 1998 and positioned Melania as a “supermodel,” which was not true.
The couple married in 2005.
“They are both fighters and survivors and prize loyalty over almost all else,” Jordan wrote, according to the Post. “Neither the very public Trump nor the very private Melania has many close friends. Their loner instincts filter into their own marriage.”
Jordan, who won a Pulitzer Prize in 2003, painted Melania as an influential force in the White House who is often the president’s first call after one of his rallies. Melania encouraged Trump’s dream of winning the highest office in the land, according to the book, and had a hand in choosing Mike Pence as Trump’s running mate, believing that he would be content in a No. 2 spot.
She has looked out for Barron in other ways, too, securing dual citizenship for him in Slovenia so he can eventually work for the Trump Organization in Europe.
“The Art of Her Deal” is available June 16.