According to a report published by The New York Times Monday night, first lady Melania Trump has parted ways with an adviser after news about the adviser’s firm reaping $26 million in payments to help plan President Trump’s inauguration.
Citing two people with direct knowledge of the situation, the newspaper reports that Mrs. Trump has severed ties with longtime friend Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, who had been working on a contract basis as an unpaid senior adviser to the office of the first lady.
The sources said the move was prompted by displeasure from Mrs. Trump over the news that a firm created by Ms. Winston Wolkoff was paid nearly $26 million for event planning by a nonprofit group that oversaw President Trump’s inauguration and surrounding events in January 2017.
Stephanie Grisham, Mrs. Trump’s spokeswoman, said the office had “severed the gratuitous services contract with Ms. Wolkoff,” who Ms. Grisham said had been employed as “a special government employee” to work on specific projects. “We thank her for her hard work and wish her all the best.”
Ms. Grisham said that the first lady “had no involvement” with the inaugural committee and that she “had no knowledge of how funds were spent,” the news outlet wrote.
According to the report, Trump raised $107 million for the inauguration and had pledged to donate whatever was left to charity. However, tax filings obtained by the New York Times revealed that the committee’s charitable donation totaled just $5 million, much less than expected.
The Trump administration has declined to reveal where the rest of the money went.