While a new presidency can bring about many changes — take policy or federal level politics, for example — it can also be fodder for pop culture. With former President Barack Obama came memes, and many of them, including some about his relationship with his vice president, Joe Biden. The tradition continued with President Donald Trump, whose facial expressions and gestures were often turned into memes by his critics. Trump’s meme portfolio has often included jabs about his relationship with wife Melania Trump, who some speculate secretly dislikes her husband and might divorce him the first chance she gets once the family leaves the White House in January 2021.
Memes about their relationship have certainly made it seem like their separation might be inevitable, with Melania often swatting Donald’s hand away as he reaches for her, or Melania quickly turning a smile into a frown at a moment’s notice. But one of Donald’s former associates, who had years of firsthand knowledge regarding the president and his relationships, thinks differently.
Michael Cohen doubts that Melania will divorce Trump
According to Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s former personal attorney, Melania Trump will likely stay with Donald after the two exit the Oval Office. “I don’t think Melania leaves Donald. She’s very willingly complicit in his schemes and holds his beliefs as her own,” Cohen told The Washington Post. “Those two deserve each other.”
Cohen isn’t the only one who thinks so. Those familiar with the first family’s relationships think Melania and Donald are made for each other. “It’s part of the show,” said Stephanie WInston Wolkoff, a former friend of the first lady. “She’s always been the quiet. He’s been the loud. She’s been the soft. He’s been the hard. They play off one another. It’s part of the relationship that makes it work.” What’s more, two people currently within Melania’s close-knit circle anonymously divulged that she shows no signs of divorcing her husband.
What happened to the 'Free Melania' movement?
The opinions of those closest to the first family run counter to the picture many had painted at the beginning of Donald Trump’s presidency. At the time, there was speculation (much of it out of humor) that Melania was being held captive by President Trump and needed to be freed — so much so that the “Free Melania” myth soon turned into a meme and viral hashtag. Online news sources seriously analyzed whether Melania was happy with her life partner. The myth even made it to the streets, as protestors during the Women’s March thrust signs into the air that read “MELANIA: BLINK TWICE IF YOU NEED HELP.”
Saturday Night Live certainly took some liberties in its interpretation of events, turning Melania into a princess trapped in Trump Tower. However, much of that humor changed when the public began to perceive Melania as being complicit in (and sometimes even promoting) Donald’s decisions, according to SNL writer Julio Torres. “There was this shift. It wasn’t funny anymore,” Torres said in 2019 (via Political Flare). “We were like, ‘Oh, this poor lady. The American Dream gone bad,’ ” Torres said about what he thought at first. “And then she started talking and it was like, ‘Oh, you’re not captive. You’re making choices. There is agency. You’re complicit. It’s not the princess in the castle anymore.’ ”
Donald Trump got caught up in the Stormy Daniels scandal
Melania Trump’s choice to stay married to Donald Trump may come as a surprise at first, especially considering the many scandals and allegations that have plagued his presidency. Stephanie Clifford, commonly known as the adult film actress Stormy Daniels, revealed she had sex with Trump just a few months after his and Melania’s son Barron was born, according to her interview with Anderson Cooper on CBS News.
Daniels said their encounter — which involved spanking and Trump telling Daniels that she reminded him of his daughter — was a one-time-thing, but that the two kept in touch in the subsequent years. And when Melania came up in the conversation, Daniels said he had brushed it off. “I asked [about his wife and child],” Daniels said. “And he brushed it aside, said, ‘Oh yeah, yeah, you know, don’t worry about that. We don’t even — we have separate rooms and stuff.'” A number of lawsuits between Daniels and Trump have since ensued, including one for defamation, which was dismissed, per The Guardian. Yet, while one might think that the damage had already been done, Melania has continued to stand by Donald amid every assault allegation that has come to light throughout his time as commander-in-chief.
Donald Trump's sexual assault allegations date back to the 1970s
Stormy Daniels’ account came around the time when the #MeToo movement was gaining momentum. During Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign, the then-candidate was heavily criticized by the left after a recording of the businessman surfaced where he could be heard saying he is “automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them. I don’t even wait … You can do anything. Grab ’em by the p***y,” Trump said on the Access Hollywood tape, obtained by The Washington Post. Since then, at least 26 women have accused Trump of sexual misconduct, according to Business Insider. The allegations date back to at least the 1970s, and range from forcible kissing and groping to rape. Trump has dismissed the allegations, calling them “fabricated.”
“Every woman lied when they came forward to hurt my campaign,” Trump said during a speech about his first 100 days as president. “Total fabrication. The events never happened. Never. All of these liars will be sued after the election is over.” Despite the scandals and accusations that have piled up over the years, whether Melania Trump chooses to stay with Donald remains a very personal decision — one that cannot be determined for sure by anyone, despite what speculators might say, other than Melania and Donald themselves.
If you or someone you know has been the victim of sexual assault, you can call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) or visit RAINN.org for additional resources.
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