Citing

Justice Dept. sues to seize profits of tell-all Melania Trump book, citing White House nondisclosure pact

An attorney for Winston Wolkoff did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Winston Wolkoff, 50, had a 15-year friendship with Melania Trump before she was ousted in 2018 as an unpaid senior adviser to the first lady in a scandal involving President Trump’s $107 million inauguration. Winston Wolkoff has said she felt “betrayed” when news accounts focused on $26 million paid to her event-planning firm by the inauguration. Most of the money went to pay for inaugural events, and she personally retained $484,126, The Washington Post has reported.

In the book, Winston Wolkoff described what she viewed as extensive mismanagement and opaque accounting for the inauguration, after which she cooperated with law enforcement investigators.

But the former right-hand events planner to Vogue editor Anna Wintour has created a larger media storm this month by playing excerpts of phone conversations that she began secretly recording with the first lady in February 2018 without her knowledge.

Melania Trump’s chief of staff, Stephanie Grisham, has lambasted Winston Wolkoff for the recordings.

“Secretly taping the first lady and willfully breaking an NDA to publish a salacious book is a clear attempt at relevance,” Grisham said in an Oct. 2 statement to CNN. “The timing of this continues to be suspect — as does this never-ending exercise in self-pity and narcissism.”

The lawsuit is likely to draw renewed attention to the tapes, which capture Melania Trump venting in profane language about her frustrations with critical media coverage, expectations about her role in planning White House Christmas decorations and defending the administration’s separation of migrant children at the U.S.-Mexico border.

“Who gives a f— about the Christmas stuff and decorations?” Trump said in one portion played in interviews with Winston Wolkoff by CNN’s Anderson Cooper.

On another recording, the first lady refers to porn

McConnell says he hasn’t been to White House since August, citing Covid-19 protocols

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on Thursday that he hasn’t been to the White House since early August, citing a difference in coronavirus protocols at the White House and in the Senate.



a man wearing glasses and looking at the camera: (Photo by Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images)


© Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images
(Photo by Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images)

“I haven’t actually been to the White House since August the 6th because my impression was their approach to how to handle this is different from mine and what I insisted that we do in the Senate, which is to wear a mask and practice social distancing,” McConnell said at a Kentucky event in response to a question about whether he believes President Donald Trump should be disclosing more information about his recent coronavirus diagnosis.

Loading...

Load Error

The comments, which he more or less repeated at a second event shortly after, underscore the sharp differences in how the Kentucky Republican has approached the pandemic compared to Trump’s White House. For months, McConnell hasn’t just worn a mask, but regularly taken opportunities while on camera to urge others to do the same. And while there are a small number of senators who forgo masks on occasion, the vast majority in the chamber wear them in Washington.

The White House, McConnell said at the second event, wasn’t “approaching the protection from this illness in the same way that I thought was appropriate in the Senate.”

The Kentucky Republican is married to Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, who is tested regularly and has tested negative, a department spokesman told CNN last week. CNN has reached out to the department to ask when Chao was last at the White House.

Video: Biden says Trump is responsible for contracting Covid-19 (CNN)

Biden says Trump is responsible for contracting Covid-19

UP NEXT

UP NEXT

McConnell on Thursday made clear that he speaks frequently with

BuzzFeed News Pulls Reporter From White House, Citing Virus Risk

BuzzFeed News has pulled a political correspondent from the White House press pool, citing concerns that the area has become a coronavirus hot zone after President Trump, many of his top aides — including the press secretary Kayleigh McEnany — and several journalists have tested positive for the virus.

A BuzzFeed News spokesman, Matt Mittenthal, confirmed that the company on Tuesday had withdrawn the correspondent, Kadia Goba, from her Wednesday shift out of concern for her safety. The spokesman added that BuzzFeed News was awaiting further guidance from the White House Correspondents’ Association.

Reporters rotate into the White House press pool, a group of journalists that represents the wider corps to share coverage of the president and the day’s events. The pool includes representatives of wire news services, newspapers and news sites, as well as television and radio outlets.

“Anyone that knows me understands I’d rather be at the White House working today,” Ms. Goba said, “but at the same time, there are obvious concerns about working indoors during an outbreak.”

She added, “I don’t want to be knocked out for the rest of the election because I’m sick.”

After BuzzFeed News notified other news organizations on Tuesday that its reporter would not work her shift, an email circulated among members of the press pool asking for someone to fill in.

“We are in uncharted territory,” Todd J. Gillman, the Washington bureau chief of The Dallas Morning News, who coordinates the print pool, wrote in the email, which was reviewed by The New York Times.

“No one wants anyone to take unwarranted risk,” he added. “Nor do we want the pool system to collapse.”

Politico sent a reporter, Meridith McGraw, to cover the White House in place of the BuzzFeed correspondent.

In addition to the president and Ms. McEnany, the