Stephanie Winston Wolkoff is one of those patriotic Americans who went to work in the Trump White House, only to come soaring back over the gates, rejected by the host organism. Like many before her, she decided to write a book about her experiences, Melania and Me: The Rise and Fall of My Friendship With the First Lady, and she proffers it to us as an act of public service, although possibly also as a comprehensive case for the defense if this whole acid trip ends up at The Hague. She is another member of Plastic Camelot, the ever-changing group of personal friends, celebrities, and weirdos whom the Trumps bring close to them and then, in the manner of bored kings, dispatch to the tombs. Maybe they’re no more disturbing a collection of advisers and jesters than the men and women on whom other presidents have depended. Who’s to say that Omarosa is so much worse than Henry Kissinger? She certainly has a better record on human rights.
Collectively, Plastic Camelot represents a pillar of the Trump family’s success: their awareness that a substantial percentage of Americans who can’t handle anything more challenging than Supermarket Sweep can be manipulated into holding the fate of the world in their hands.
Wolkoff managed to upsell her 15-year friendship with the first lady into a job helping produce the inauguration and then into a briefly held and unpaid position as her special adviser, and now into a book, which is as sordid as it is fascinating. It’s sordid in part because Melania doesn’t seem to have done anything cruel to Wolkoff; her problems were entirely of her own making. Still, at last we have a glimpse into the feelings and nature of our first lady, who has stalked through these past four years in high heels and a perfect blowout, her gaze pitiless as the sun.