Melania Trump has smaller first lady staff than Michelle Obama: report

Melania Trump has smaller first lady staff than Michelle Obama: report
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First lady Melania Trump is keeping a lean staff list on payroll compared to other recent first ladies, Fox News reported Friday.

Melania Trump has a smaller group of aides compared to her predecessor, Michelle ObamaMichelle LeVaughn Robinson ObamaObamas describe meeting Prince Philip in statement mourning his death Overnight Defense: Trump-era land mine policy unchanged amid review | Biden spending outline coming Friday | First lady sets priorities for relaunched military families initiative Jill Biden unveils next phase of military families program MORE, according to the news outlet's analysis of White House personnel reports.


Her communications director, Stephanie Grisham, says the smaller East Wing operations are a deliberate decision.

“As with all things that she does, she is being very deliberate in her hiring, focusing on quality over quantity,” Grisham told Fox News in an email. “It is important to her that the team is a good fit for what she wants to accomplish as first lady, and that everyone works well together. She also wants to be mindful and responsible when it comes to taxpayer money.”

Grisham told the news outlet this week that nine people serve the first lady, five more than listed in the annual report that came out in June. 

The four listed on the reported roster for Melania Trump are paid a salary total of $486,700. It is unclear how much she pays for the additional five aides serving on her team, or whether those salaries come out of a different budget.

During former President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaUS raises concerns about Iran's seriousness in nuclear talks Matt Stoller calls on Biden administration to keep McKinsey away from infrastructure Obamas describe meeting Prince Philip in statement mourning his death MORE’s first year in office, Michelle Obama had 16 people listed under the "first lady" staffing roster, whose salaries totaled $1.24 million a year, according to the report.

Some Obama administration officials say the total was likely closer to 24, with some staffers serving on the team under a different title.

Michelle Obama’s staff included more roles for press aides, a director of policy and projects, a personal aide and others to help with her office's operations, according to the report.

If it was indeed 24 staffers, a 2009 FactCheck.org story claimed it could be a record for first lady aides.

Obama took on a busy agenda at the start of her husband's term, pushing initiatives like "Let's Move," her campaign against child obesity.

In comparison, Melania Trump remained in New York during the first few months of the Trump presidency while her son Barron Trump finished the school year.

Michelle Obama’s office did not return Fox News's request for comment.