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Melania Trump is 'behind-the-scenes' but 'unbelievably influential': book

First lady Melania TrumpMelania TrumpThe Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by ExxonMobil - FBI director testifies on Jan. 6 Capitol attack Overnight Health Care: Senate to vote on .9 trillion relief bill this week | J&J vaccine rollout begins | CDC warns against lifting restrictions Trump has been vaccinated for coronavirus MORE plays an “unbelievably influential” role in the White House despite staying relatively silent on most issues, according to an excerpt from the upcoming book, “The Art of Her Deal: The Untold Story of Melania Trump” published by the Washington Post. 

The excerpt from the book paints the first lady as a planner, assertive but ultimately tight-lipped in the building's East Wing. 

“Melania is very behind-the-scenes but unbelievably influential,” Sean SpicerSean Michael SpicerPsaki signals she's open to reviving 'Skype seats' amid pandemic Newsmax rescinds Spicer's White House Correspondents' Association application: report Sean Spicer applies to join White House Correspondents' Association MORE, the president’s first White House press secretary, told author Mary Jordan.  

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“She is not one to go in and say, ‘Hire this person, fire this person.’ But she lets the president know what she thinks, and he takes her views very seriously,” he said, adding that President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump State Department appointee arrested in connection with Capitol riot Intelligence community investigating links between lawmakers, Capitol rioters Michelle Obama slams 'partisan actions' to 'curtail access to ballot box' MORE “tends to agree with her.”

Jordan writes that Melania Trump did not initially welcome the title of first lady, and she struggled to adjust to life in the public spotlight and the widespread criticism her husband continues to receive. 

The book also noted the first lady learned about her husband’s alleged infidelities and inappropriate conduct towards women as it was coming up in the national discourse throughout the campaign and later on in the White House. 

Reports surfaced earlier in Trump's presidency that he had an affair with adult film star Stormy Daniels right after his son with Melania, Barron Trump, was born. 

Former Playboy model Karen McDougal also claims that she had a relationship with Donald Trump that lasted for several months in 2006.

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The president has denied both affairs. 

In addition, in the months leading up to the showdown between then-candidate Trump and former secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonHillary Clinton brings up 'Freedom Fries' to mock 'cancel culture' Edie Falco to play Hillary Clinton in Clinton impeachment series White House defends Biden's 'Neanderthal thinking' remark on masks MORE, an "Access Hollywood" tape surfaced in which the president could be heard telling host Billy Bush that he could grab women by their genitals. 

Melania Trump has publicly shrugged off allegations of extra-marital affairs during an interview with ABC News. She remarked at the time that people can speculate, but that she has much more important things to do, like being a wife and a mother. 

“At the core, I think she’s a private person who’s spent a lot of time adjusting to public life,” one campaign ally and family friend told Jordan. 

The book also alleges that Melania Trump, who stayed in New York City in the months following President Trump’s inauguration, was pressured to move to Washington to calm the president by people who thought “he would not have been tweeting as often and acting as impulsively” if she were there. 

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“That woman! She will be the end of him,” Thomas Barrack, Trump’s friend who chaired his inaugural, was overheard saying at a meeting talking about Melania Trump remaining in New York, according to Jordan. 

“She is stubborn. She should be with her husband. He is the president of the United States,” he reportedly said. 

Sources told Jordan that Melania Trump was in the process of negotiating her financial agreement with Trump when he first entered office. Jordan claims that the first lady was using the time apart from the president in New York City as leverage to renegotiate more favorable terms for her prenuptial agreement.

The author notes that prenuptial and postnuptial agreements were common among Trump’s past wives as well. 

Melania Trump reportedly felt she contributed to President Trump’s success and was therefore entitled to more of his wealth. She was also concerned about Barron being eligible for a fair share of the Trump Organization once the president retires. 

Former White House press secretary Stephanie GrishamStephanie GrishamMelania Trump says she was 'disappointed and disheartened' watching Capitol riots Trump resignations gaining steam GOP senators urging Trump officials to not resign after Capitol chaos MORE rebuked the claims in made in the excerpt, but did not address any of the claims specifically. 

"Yet another book about Mrs. Trump with false information and sources. This book belongs in the fiction genre," Grisham, the first lady's chief of staff, said in a statement. 

While in the East Wing, Jordan writes that Melania Trump stood her ground on several fronts, including when it came to challenging the president's daughter, Ivanka TrumpIvanka TrumpTrump Jr. was deposed in inauguration funds probe Former Trump officials eye bids for political office The Hill's Morning Report - Disaster politics hobble Cruz, Cuomo MORE who also serves as a White House advisor. Ivanka Trump suggested renaming the “First Lady’s Office” the “First Family Office.” 

“The idea that she is not a big influence in the administration is just dead wrong,” said former New Jersey governor Chris Christie (R), who has known Melania and Donald Trump for years, told Jordan.