Melania Trump never wanted to be First Lady

Back in 2014, when Donald Trump was considering yet again a run for president, he polled his friends and advisers about what he should do. He went through a lengthy process, toyed with running for governor of New York, and went back and forth on making any decision. Trump’s dalliance with politics dated back to 1987, when he was promoting The Art of the Deal. He generated publicity for the book (and himself) by buying space for “open letters” in major newspapers, criticizing American foreign policy. He then helicoptered to New Hampshire (which hosts the first presidential primaries) to give a well-attended speech at a local Rotary Club. Trump had seriously entertained a run in 2012, against Mitt Romney, whom he eventually endorsed, but then drew back. Roger Stone, a veteran Republican troublemaker and an early Trump adviser, told me recently that Trump had had “immediate seller’s remorse that he decided not to run” that year. In 2014, Trump was even more serious, and in the end he consulted one of his most discreet advisers—his wife, Melania. “She was very clearly the one who said, ‘Either run or don’t run,’ ” Stone explained. He went on, paraphrasing Melania: “ ‘Your friends are tired of this striptease. Every four years you talk about it.’”…

There may never have been a First Lady less prepared for or suited to the role. “This isn’t something she wanted and it isn’t something he ever thought he’d win,” one longtime friend of the Trumps’ told me. “She didn’t want this come hell or high water. I don’t think she thought it was going to happen.