- Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Gabrielle’s Angel Foundation
Ivana Trump, President Donald Trump’s first wife and the mother of his three eldest children, said that while she talks to the president regularly, she doesn’t often call the White House directly to avoid making first lady Melania Trump jealous.
She added that because she was the president’s first wife, she is, in fact, the real first lady.
“I [don’t] really want to call him there, because Melania is there,” she said during a Sunday interview with ABC’s “Good Morning America” in which she promoted her new book, “Raising Trump.” “And I don’t want to cause any kind of jealousy or something like that, because I’m basically first Trump wife. OK? I’m first lady.”
Melania’s spokeswoman was critical of Ivana’s comments, characterizing them in a statement on Monday as “attention seeking and self-serving noise.”
“She plans to use her title and role to help children, not sell books,” the spokesperson said of Melania. “There is clearly no substance to this statement from an ex. Unfortunately only attention seeking and self-serving noise.”
Ivana said that she would make an excellent first lady herself, but that she would be loathe to give up her “freedom” and “perfect life.”
“Would I straighten up the White House in 14 days? Absolutely,” she said. “Can I give the speech for 45 minutes without [a] teleprompter? Absolutely. Can I read a contract? Can I negotiate? Can I entertain? Absolutely. But I would not really like to be there. I like my freedom.”
She added that she assumes Melania’s life in the White House is “terrible.”
“I think for her to be in Washington must be terrible,” she said. “It’s better her than me. I would hate Washington.”
Ivana, a Czech-American businesswoman and former model, was married to the president from 1977 until the early 1990s, when the two split after the real-estate mogul’s affair with Marla Maples became public. Ivana is apparently not on good terms with Maples, whom Trump went on to marry and whom Ivana exclusively refers to as a “showgirl.”
In an interview with CBS News that aired on Sunday, Ivana said she talks with the president weekly, advising him on his Twitter habits.
“He’s still asking me for advice,” she told CBS reporter Jim Axelrod. “He asks me about, ‘Should I tweet, should I not tweet?'”
Ivana said she encourages the president to tweet. She added that the president offered her an ambassadorship to the Czech Republic, which she declined.
“Donald told me. He said, ‘Ivana, if you want it, I give it to you,'” she said. “But I like my freedom. I like to do what I want to do, go wherever I want to go with whomever I want to go. And I can afford my lifestyle. OK, why would I go and say bye-bye to Miami in the winter, bye-bye to Saint-Tropez in the summer, and bye-bye to spring and fall in New York? I have a perfect life.”