Shortly after the FBI raided his Mar-a-Lago home earlier this month, former President Donald Trump lashed out on social media about agents rummaging through his clothes and personal belongings woman
“I just heard that the agents went through the first lady’s closets and rummaged through her clothes and personal effects. Surprisingly, the area left in a relative mess. Wow!” Trump posted on Truth Social.
Melania Trump makes an ‘unheard of first lady’ move
He was much angrier (angry with an exclamation mark) than Melania Trump, according to five people who spoke to CNN about Melania Trump’s recent activities on condition of anonymity to protect personal and professional relationships.
“She cared, but not like he cared,” said a person familiar with the former first lady’s response.
“It upset her,” said another person of the search, who noted that it was the invasion of her privacy that made her angry, not the nature of the investigation that prompted the search, or what it meant or could come to. means, legally, for her husband.
The feds were in his room, his closets and bathroom were a little too close to his independent orbit. But the former first lady has not been provoked enough to make a public statement about the search, or what resulted. Instead, his public statements, via his Twitter account, have focused on his most apparent passion since leaving Washington: NFTs.
‘Never say never’: Melania Trump mocks second term as first lady
CNN reached out to Trump multiple times for comment on this story and did not hear back.
“She is private and protective of her son and her home,” the second person added.
The warrant was specific about the rooms and areas agents could search, and included any space the former president frequented, said a person familiar with the details of the warrant’s execution. The Trumps have separate bedrooms in their 3,500-square-foot Mar-a-Lago, three people familiar with the design tell CNN, but Melania Trump’s bedroom and closets are down a short hallway from the bedrooms and office of the former president
Although she was and is bothered by strangers walking through her curious and expensive collection of clothes, shoes and bags, those who know her say, she was, and remains, characteristically quiet.
“Why would I say anything?” says a person familiar with Trump’s long-standing taciturn communications strategy. “Their thinking is that if she’s quiet, she’ll go away,” this person says.
Trump’s few recent public sightings include a visit to a Manhattan hair salon.
The coolness also comes from a fundamental certainty that Donald Trump’s possessions, however obtained, would not be found in his bedroom or closet.
“She would never let him keep his stuff in his room and frankly, she would never ask,” says one of the people.
“(Melania Trump) has always considered what Donald does to be separate from her,” says another person who has known the Trumps for years. “The decisions he makes about his business are his decisions, not hers.”
The business of being a former president of the United States who remains in the headlines has occupied Donald Trump. As focused as she has been over the past year and a half – as a Republican kingpin or defending investigations – Melania Trump’s life after the White House has been less prominent.
Although out of the public eye, Trump has focused significant attention since the beginning of the year on a business called USA Memorabilia, using his Twitter platform (he has a personal account with 2 million followers and an “official” office with 124,000 followers) to promote. NFTs created and sold by USA Memorabilia.
Of the 50 or so tweets Trump has posted since mid-February, nearly half have been retweets from the USA Memorabilia Twitter account, which has fewer than 500 followers, or his own tweets connecting the NFTs to place
“It’s weird,” says a former Trump adviser about the former first lady’s promotion of a for-profit business. “Being so shameless about making money off US themed collectibles.”
Melania Trump sells digital painting of her eyes (2021)
Two people familiar with Trump’s foray into NFTs say it was recently tipped off by Marc Beckman, a longtime friend and husband of fashion designer Alice Roi, who designed a handful of outfits for Trump during the her term as first lady. Beckman has run a marketing and branding agency for many years, but has recently turned his attention to the world of cryptocurrencies and how to capitalize on the new age of technology-based collectibles. In 2021, Beckman published a book called “The Complete Guide to NFTs, Digital Artwork and Blockchain Technology”.
Multiple attempts to reach Beckman by CNN were unsuccessful.
There is no identifiable outside link between USA Memorabilia and the former first lady, but the only two accounts the Twitter account follows are hers, and most of the items sold feature Melania Trump or her husband. Multiple attempts by CNN to contact representatives of USA Memorabilia have gone unanswered.
Collections posted on the company’s website are government-adjacent subjects such as the National Parks Collection, the Valor Collection, which focuses on the branches of the US military, and the POTUS Trump, which are NFTs from various moments in Trump’s presidential history.
An NFT from the latter collection, each of which cost $50, is of the former first couple with a digitally waving American flag and Mount Rushmore in the background; another, the “45 First Lady NFT,” features Melania Trump and Donald Trump in tuxedos, an official photograph from their time in the White House, used as a 2020 holiday card.
While US Memorabilia NFT profits are not publicly available, and CNN’s attempts to obtain this information from the company were unsuccessful, the former first lady continues to promote the sales via social media.
“It is very unusual for a former first lady not to take advantage of her continued power and prestige after leaving office. But I’ve learned that it’s a losing game to try to make sense of what Melania is doing,” says Kate Andersen Brower, CNN contributor and author of “The Residence” and “First Women: The Grace and Power of America’s Modern First Ladies. ”
Also not mentioned in Trump’s tweets promoting USA Memorabilia, the most recent of which came Monday, is a charitable component that the former first lady touted in December of last year when she first announced the his entrepreneurial endeavor in blockchain sales with a $150 digital image. of his eyes
Trump said the sales would instigate a “commitment to children through my Be Best initiative” and that proceeds would provide computer skills to children who had aged out of the foster care system. However, no delimitation of the revenue share was announced, nor was confirmation of the organizations that would receive the funds raised, despite CNN’s repeated requests over several months for clarification.
In a May interview with Fox, Trump said he would give scholarships from an initiative he calls “Fostering the Future,” but so far only one scholarship has been publicly awarded, the details of which have not been made public.
“As she’s in office, there’s no rulebook about how much or how little (a former first lady) should do. Each woman has been approached differently,” Brower said of the unorthodox business model of trump
First ladies don’t get government money to set up big offices after they leave the White House, and after their husbands die, they get a paltry pension of $20,000 a year. Several people CNN spoke to for this story speculated that Trump is trying to set up a business separate from her husband’s, who is currently embroiled in various legal entanglements.
“I would imagine that as a wife and the mother of his son, she must be worried (about the future),” says the person who has known Trump for many years. “She might at least be a little worried about how her own life is going to change.”
With one of the world’s largest public platforms, it’s hard to understand why Trump is backing a little-known digital memorabilia business when, perhaps like his recent predecessors, he could be establishing initiatives with global influence. On that note, everyone who knows Trump and spoke to CNN about his recent activities was baffled.
“In short, I think it’s a missed opportunity for a former first lady to not stay relevant,” Brower said.