The true state of Donald and Melania Trump’s marriage is the last unanswered mystery surrounding the country’s 45th president, according to the man who has written three books on his turbulent years.
‘Nobody really knows where Melania lives,’ Michael Wolff, the New York Times bestselling author of Landslide: The Final Days of the Trump Presidency, told DailyMail.com in an exclusive interview.
‘She is not with him a lot of the times. This was true when he was in the White House and it’s true now.
‘People around Trump still have questions, but they don’t want to ask those questions. It remains the third rail that nobody wants to touch.’
Wolff got no closer to finding the answer to the relationship conundrum when he was invited to dinner with the couple at Trump’s Florida club, Mar-a-Lago. He sat for hours with the two of them who gave the appearance of being a happy couple.
‘They carried it off with great elan,’ he said. ‘Dinner was like a wedding party, with Donald and Melania at the head table, greeting people the entire time.’
Author Michael Wolff was invited to dinner with Donald and Melania Trump at Mar-a-Lago where they sat for hours and appeared to be a happy couple. The Trumps are pictured having a meal at Mar-a-Lago in April
Wolff has just published Landslide, his third account of the Trump presidency. The ex-president summoned him to Mar-a-Lago for a lengthy interview, despite slamming the first two books, Fire And Fury published in 2018, and Siege, which came out the following year.
The 67-year-old author was surprised to get a chance to go interview Trump just two months after he had left office. The invitation came in March after an aide told Trump that a third book was in the works.
‘Trump said: ”That guy gets ratings, let’s see him.” So, I was invited to Mar-a-Lago to interview the former president and have dinner with him and Melania.
‘I sat with him for several hours and was invited to dinner. It was mindboggling, it was like we were best friends.
The ex-president summoned him to Mar-a-Lago for a lengthy interview, despite slamming his first two books which gave a scathing account of Trump’s presidency
‘He said: ”These books you write were very mean and very wrong, but I don’t blame you, I blame my people.” Then we were off and running, spending the better part of the afternoon, me listening and him talking.’
Wolff said Trump lives in ‘a separate reality,’ still obsessed with the idea that last year’s election was stolen from him.
‘He could hardly talk about anything else. He spins these numbers, which change constantly, and goodness knows where he gets them from.’
Wolff told DailyMail.com that Trump is convinced that Joe Biden will die in office and that he will be swept back to the White House in a landslide after defeating Kamala Harris in the 2024 election.
‘He believes that Biden won’t survive his term because he is too old,’ Wolff said in an exclusive interview.
‘He keeps talking about Biden having Alzheimer’s and he is convinced that Harris will be the Democratic candidate in 2024 and it will be no contest,’ he added.
‘He doesn’t believe there is any chance that Kamala could beat him — but then, he thought that Joe Biden would be no threat. That is why, in his mind, the election must have been stolen, because there is no way he could possibly have been beaten by Biden.’
Trump’s confidence in his inevitable victory was shattered for a brief time in June 2020 after Biden had effectively won the nomination. He was haunted by a nightmare scenario that the Democrats were going to replace his aging rival with a more youthful Andrew Cuomo and then add Michelle Obama to the ticket as vice president.
At the time New York Governor Cuomo was riding high in the public esteem because of his perceived handling of the COVID crisis in his state.
‘Trump was terrified because he thought this was the one ticket that could beat him,’ said Wolff.
Wolff said the often-floated idea that Trump would somehow be reinstated after proof comes out that he won the election is not something the former president really believes.
‘I asked him directly about getting back into office before the election and he clearly wants the discussion to be out there and wants people to think that he believes this,’ Wolff said.
‘But he was very, very careful with me not to make that claim.’
Wolff said that Trump is convinced that Joe Biden will die in office and that he will be back in the White House in a landslide after defeating Kamala Harris in 2024
Wolff believes the only reason Trump may not try to become the second president to have two separate terms would be if his health fails between now and 2024.
And if that were to happen, he will do all he can to prevent two particular people from getting the GOP nomination.
Wolff has just written Landslide, his third account of the Trump presidency
They are Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and his own former Vice-President Mike Pence, Wolff said.
‘He firmly believes DeSantis is going to run even if he does, and he is completely p***ed about it.
‘The only way he can allow DeSantis to run is for him to come to Mar-a-Lago and kiss his ring in a particularly groveling fashion.
‘If DeSantis is public enemy number one, Mike Pence is number two,’ added Wolff. ‘And the more Pence is out there, the more furious Trump becomes.
‘In my book, I report on three different meetings in which Pence told him directly there was no way that he was going to support anything to upend the electoral college vote.
‘He still believes that Pence could and should have ”done the right thing.”’
There are two other reasons for Trump to run again, said Wolff. First, he ‘lives for’ speaking at large rallies and knows that the only way to keep the crowds coming is if they believe he will inevitably be a candidate.
The second is that he believes it will stave off prosecution in the criminal and civil investigations that are ongoing.
‘It gives him the wherewithal to say the legal action against him is all political. They are prosecuting because he is so powerful, they are doing it for purely political reasons.’
‘He firmly believes [Ron] DeSantis is going to run even if he does, and he is completely p***ed about it,’ Wolff said. ‘The only way he can allow DeSantis to run is for him to come to Mar-a-Lago and kiss his ring in a particularly groveling fashion’
If Trump doesn’t run in 2024 — when he will be five months older than Biden was when he won the presidency — Wolff believes he will make sure his handpicked candidate wins the Republican nomination.
And that person could well be a family member, either son Don Jr. or daughter Ivanka, or a political ally.
‘You look at people like Marco Rubio or Ted Cruz, they would love to run, but Trump is such a dominant force in the party that they won’t if there is a chance that he will.
‘This is going to be the thing. Who will dare cross him? Who will dare to take the gamble that they can run against him and not be damaged within the party?
‘If Trump is as strong as he believes he is — and it is quite possible that he is — it is a gamble that would ruin their whole career in the Republican Party.’
Wolff said one trick that Trump still has up his sleeve is his ability to bring in potential voters. During the 2020 congressional elections he held a series of what he called ‘telerallies’ getting up to 40,000 people on the phone at one time to hear him back a candidate during a speech of five-to-ten minutes.
He plans to do the same again in 2022, both in primaries and the midterm elections themselves.
‘If he finds in 2022, that he is the kingmaker, then he will certainly run again in 2024,’ said Wolff.
‘Make no mistake, we haven’t heard the last of Donald Trump.’