A friend of Melania Trump’s cost taxpayers $26 million. Cenk Uygur and Ana Kasparian, the hosts of The Young Turks, break it down. Tell us what you think in the comment section below. http://www.tytnetwork.com/join
“The White House is once again cleaning house. A spokeswoman for Melania Trump confirmed Monday that the first lady has “severed the gratuitous services contract” between the White House and her senior adviser, Stephanie Winston Wolkoff.
“We thank her for her hard work and wish her all the best,” spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham added in a statement to the New York Times.
Winston Wolkoff, who was hired by FLOTUS in January 2017, was reportedly terminated in the wake of a Feb. 15 New York Times report that her event planning firm was paid $26 million by President Trump‘s nonprofit inaugural committee. The firm, WIS Media Partners, was created by Winston Wolkoff in December 2016, just weeks before her hiring was announced.
The 47-year-old Winston Wolkoff reportedly also hired an associate, David Monn, who was paid $3.7 million for his help in organizing two events around the inauguration.
The excessive spending has prompted intense backlash and accusations of cronyism. President Trump is also said to be livid about the financial revelations, while Grisham insisted that the first lady had “no knowledge of how funds were spent” and was not involved in planning the inauguration.
Winston Wolkoff, however, downplayed the controversy in a series of emails to the Times, describing the media attention as “unfair.”
“I was informed by the White House counsel’s office that all gratuitous volunteer contracts were ended,” she said. “I expect to remain a trusted source for advice and support on an informal basis.”
She added that she was “proud” of her work on the inauguration and claimed that all but $1.62 million of the $26 million charge was paid out to subcontractors, that profit was then “divided among our staff of 15 members (including myself),” she wrote.
Just how did this former New York City event planner — and kin to one of the world’s most celebrated jeweler families — become a political headline? Here’s what you need to know.”