From friend to foe
August 31, 2020

Stephanie Winston Wolkoff was friends with first lady Melania Trump for more than a decade, and while she briefly served in the White House as an adviser, she is now spending her time working with "three different prosecutors" who are looking into whether any financial crimes were committed during the planning and execution of President Trump's 2017 inauguration.

Winston Wolkoff writes about her relationship with the Trump family in her new book, Melania and Me: The Rise and Fall of My Friendship with the First Lady, out Tuesday. In an interview with ABC News that aired Monday, Winston Wolkoff said she is working with the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Southern District of New York and the attorneys general in New Jersey and Washington, D.C. as they probe the inauguration. "It's taken over my life," she added.

The inaugural committee spent a record $104 million on Trump's inauguration. In 2018, The New York Times reported that Winston Wolkoff's event-planning firm received more than $26 million from the committee; she told ABC News most of the money was transferred to another company that produced multiple inaugural events. This article turned her into "the cover girl for the inauguration shenanigans," she said, and when she appealed to Trump for help, the first lady refused to help Winston Wolkoff clear her name.

Trump's spokesperson told the Times she had "no involvement" with the inaugural committee and "had no knowledge of how funds were spent." This, Winston Wolkoff writes in her book, was "complete and utter horses--t." Winston Wolkoff said Trump personally approved several pricey expenditures, including $130,000 Tiffany crystal bowls that were given to inaugural dinner guests. Winston Wolkoff told ABC News that after the inauguration, she took a close look at the bills, and was shocked when she saw "a tree you could buy for $10 was $1,000, or a stage that would cost $100,000 was $1 million." Read more about the extravagant inauguration and Winston Wolkoff's roll in it at ABC News. Catherine Garcia

November 10, 2015

Marco Rubio is aiming to kill his political opponents with kindness — their own kindness, to be exact. The Florida senator's latest campaign ad features nothing but his fellow Floridian rival for the GOP nomination Jeb Bush raving about his former protégé:

"I'm a huge Marco fan," Bush says in one clip. "He's probably the most articulate conservative on the scene today." In another, Bush describes Rubio's "hopeful, optimistic message based on our principles" as essential to the Republican Party and lauds his "high voltage energy" and "eloquence."

But these days, Bush doesn't seem to be singing Rubio's praises. During a recent Republican presidential debate, Bush said that Rubio should start showing up to work three days a week "or just resign." Rubio responded: "I don't remember you ever complaining about John McCain's voting record. Someone has convinced you that attacking me is going to help you."

In the ad above, though, Rubio doesn't actually say anything in response to Bush's comments. He doesn't really need to. Becca Stanek

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