MELANIA TRUMP said she “just wanted to go home”, a source close to the First Lady claimed, as she plotted her next move following the US election.
The First Lady is readying herself and her family to vacate the White House as President-elect Joe Biden and his team of Democrats are sworn in later today. Melania gave her farewell speech this week, describing the last four years in the White House as the “greatest honour” of her life. She urged Americans to continue to follow her “Be Best” initiative, a hallmark of her time in Washington.
While it was the last goodbye in a tumultuous four-year saga, unearthed reports suggest Melania was ready to leave the White House while her husband, President Donald Trump, railed against the US election result in November 2020.
By December she had already started to move things out of the White House and into the family’s Mar-a-Lago residence, Florida.
Mr Trump will fly to Florida this morning hours before Mr Biden is handed the keys to the White House.
According to CNN, mid-way through November, as President Trump gathered a team of expert lawyers to contend the ballot, Melania “privately” tasked an emissary with “discreetly finding out what was available to her in terms of budget and staff allocation for post-White House life”.
It was just the first in a string of moves from the First Lady that suggested she did not want to spend another four years in Washington.
A source familiar with Melania’s “state of mind” told the broadcaster: “She just wants to go home.”
Asked how the First Lady felt about claims her husband could announce a 2024 election bid, the source added: “That might not go over well.”
Melania is thought to have inquired as far back as April 2019 whether there were taxpayer funds “allocated to former First Ladies”.
Joe Biden: The President-elect and his wife, Jill, today enter the White House (Image: GETTY)
She brought on Marcia Lee Kelly who, according to CNN, Melania asked to help her see what avenues were available for “life after Washington”.
Separately, Melania now looks to be teeing up a smooth transition from public life for her 14-year-old son, Barron Trump.
In December, she toured a $35,000-a-year (£25,000) school in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, around a 40 minute drive from Mar-a-Lago.
And while President Trump and Melania will not attend the inauguration, reports suggest Ivanka Trump, Mr Trump’s 39-year-old and senior adviser, has floated the idea of attending in order to show she was a “good sport”.
A White House spokesperson told the Daily Mail: “Ivanka is worried that her promising political career is in jeopardy and she’s doing whatever she can to save her reputation.”
This allegedly sparked fury from President Trump.
The source added: “He said it’s an insult that she would even want to engage with the crooks that are trying to bring him down.
“The President told his daughter that her presence at the inauguration will cost her thousands of supporters and would be the worst decision she could ever make.
“[Ivanka] said she has to protect her own political aspirations and isn’t about to muck it all up by attending her dad’s 2024 campaign kick-off which is set for the same day.
“She’s leaving that for her dad and Don Jr.”
The outgoing President’s children are not always invited to the inauguration.
When the Trumps first entered the White House in 2017, Melania reportedly confronted Ivanka for what has been described as her plans to “steal” the First Lady’s office.
Jill Biden: The President-elect’s wife has said she will continue to work her paid job as a teacher (Image: GETTY)
Arrangements for the East Wing, usually overseen by the First Lady, were quickly seized by Ivanka as she assigned the corner office as the ‘Trump Family Office’.
She also gave herself a large personal office in the West Wing and did not assign Melania to any office at all.
This was according to author Vicky Ward in her book ‘Kushner Inc’.
Meanwhile, Jill Biden, Mr Biden’s wife, will today become the US’ newest First Lady.
She has said she will continue to hold her paid job, as an English professor at Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) while carrying out the First Lady duties.72