Leaked Emails: Ex-Melania Trump Adviser Raised Concerns Of ‘Mysterious’ Inauguration Spending Weeks Before Events
Emails obtained by CNN have revealed that Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, a former adviser to first lady Melania Trump, raised concerns about strange excessive spending by members of the Trump inauguration committee.
The emails indicated that Winston Wolkoff told the First Lady about her concerns and also clashed with former Trump inaugural committee chairman Tom Barrack over exorbitant prices for services charged by mysterious vendors, CNN reported Thursday.
“I am expressing my concerns because I have no options at this point,” she wrote in one email, reportedly citing “many line items that were not reflected, rentals that were not sourced, budgets that were not accurate and décor elements that were not feasible.”
According to court documents reviewed by CNN, Wolkoff has become a witness in the ongoing investigations into whether the inaugural committee misspent funds or accepted bribes in exchange for access to top officials.
Winston Wolkoff reportedly received a subpoena from Washington, D.C., Attorney General Karl Racine, who requested that she turn over all documents in her possession detailing expenditures that she deemed “wasteful, mismanaged, and/or improperly provided private benefit.”
In a statement to CNN, Winston Wolkoff declined to comment, citing a nondisclosure agreement that she signed upon joining the 2017 inauguration planning team.
“If the [Presidential Inaugural Committee] were to release me from this obligation, I would be able to speak freely without the fear of legal or financial repercussions. Otherwise I am regrettably unable to provide any substantive comment,” she said in a statement.
The four-day inaugural celebration cost more than $27.3 million in public funds, and reportedly still had an outstanding balance of more than $7 million owed to the city of Washington, D.C., as of June.
The total cost of the inauguration, $107 million including private donations, was more than twice as much as former President Obama’s in 2009.
The White House did not return a request for comment.