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Melania Trump slams 'salacious gossip' by ex-adviser who wrote tell-all book

First lady Melania TrumpMelania TrumpUSAID administrator tests positive for COVID-19 The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC - COVID-19 fears surround Thanksgiving holiday The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump holds his last turkey pardon ceremony MORE issued a scathing rebuke of a former top aide on her staff whose recent tell-all book paints the Trumps in a negative light and describes how their personal and professional relationship broke down two years ago.

"We all know that more often than not, information that could be helpful to children is lost in the noise made by self-serving adults," Trump said in a statement released Friday. "I have most recently found this to be the case as major news outlets eagerly covered salacious claims made by a former contractor who advised my office."

The first lady continued, adding, "A person who said she 'made me' even though she hardly knew me, and someone who clung to me after my husband won the Presidency. This is a woman who secretly recorded our phone calls, releasing portions from me that were out of context, then wrote a book of idle gossip trying to distort my character."

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Stephanie Winston Wolkoff "never once look[ed] within at her own dishonest behavior and all in an attempt to be relevant. These kinds of people only care about their personal agenda—not about helping others," Trump said. 

Wolkoff worked on the first lady's staff from 2017 and 2018 and recently published her memoir, “Melania and Me: The Rise and Fall of My Friendship with the First Lady.”

Earlier this week, the Justice Department announced it was filing a complaint against Wolkoff and publisher Simon & Schuster for breaking a nondisclosure agreement. 

“Ms. Wolkoff voluntarily, willingly, and knowingly entered into a contractual agreement with the United States of America, allowing her access to the White House and sensitive information in consideration for agreeing to certain conditions on her use and dissemination of that information,” the DOJ said in the complaint, The Hill previously reported.

Trump turned some of her ire Friday on media outlets who focused coverage of the book's release on the internal drama alleged in the memoir rather than the various initiatives the first lady's office has spearheaded during the family's first term in office, such as her leading "Be Best" anti-bullying campaign. 

"Once again, outlets chose to focus their coverage on pettiness over my positive work. There are plenty of opportunists out there who only care about themselves, and unfortunately seek to self-aggrandize by knowingly taking advantage of my goodwill," Trump said. "Anyone who is focused on tearing things down for their own gain, after knowing what I stand for, has lost sight of what we are here to accomplish and who we are here to serve. To push forward a personal agenda that attempts to defame my office and the efforts of my team, only takes away from our work to help children."