That’s because Stephanie Winston Wolkoff came prepared to shut down McCain’s “gotcha” questions.
“You recently revealed you secretly recorded your conversations with Melania,” McCain said before adding, “I don’t like tell-all books like this. I think they’re in bad taste, and generally, I think secretly recording your friend and selling [the] contents for profit certainly ups the ante, and seems not only unethical but just gross.”
McCain also questioned Winston Wolkoff’s motives for publishing her book. “The first lady’s office says you’re, quote, just out for revenge. … Can you honestly just sit here and tell me that’s not true?”
Winston Wolkoff thanked McCain for the question, saying it gave her the opportunity to clear up misconceptions about her motives. “I did not write this book for money; I did not take any advance for this,” she said. “This was for me to be able to tell the true story and not be anonymous anymore. I’m on the record.”
Winston Wolkoff was in charge of President Trump’s 2017 inauguration, which cost a record $107 million and has come under fire for inflated billings. She said she starting recording the first lady after the White House accused her of profiting excessively from the event.
“All the stories that crushed me, burned me, and the White House propaganda machine made up about me that made headlines around the world, broke me, my integrity; my life literally went into shatters because of exactly what you are talking about,” Winston Wolkoff said.
She then explained that she was no longer friends with Melania by the time she decided to record their conversations.
“I didn’t press record on a friend. I pressed record after I was accused of a crime and I was thrown under the bus and I was told by my friend, ‘I‘m sorry, this is the way it has to be.’ That’s when I pressed record.”
Winston Wolkoff said she had to write the book for both herself and the country.
“The fact is, I do have the facts, I do have the proof, and I’m willing to actually stand by every single word,” she said, adding that one of the biggest reasons she wrote the book was “for the country to understand who these people are.”
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