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Melania Trump’s citizenship remarks ‘quite repulsive,’ says former aide

By Jake Beardslee · December 17, 2023

In brief…

  • Melania Trump gave remarks at a naturalization ceremony that her former advisor Stephanie Winston Wolkoff called "repulsive"
  • Trump spoke positively about her own journey to citizenship from Slovenia
  • Winston Wolkoff suggested Trump's appearance was just a "publicity moment"
Melania Trump's former advisor criticized her speech at a naturalization ceremony as an insincere "publicity moment."  Joyce N. Boghosian/Wikimedia

An ex-advisor to Melania Trump chastised the former first lady’s appearance and remarks at a naturalization ceremony on Friday, suggesting it was a “publicity moment” given Trump’s alleged previous disinterest in attending such events as first lady.

Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, who served as an unpaid “volunteer advisor” to Trump before their split in 2018, called Trump’s citizenship speech “quite repulsive” in an interview with CNN. Winston Wolkoff claimed Trump previously did not want to “actually promote” pathways to citizenship “for so many individuals that have less opportunity than she had,” making Friday’s event a “squandered opportunity.”

At the National Archives naturalization ceremony, Trump spoke about her own journey to U.S. citizenship, calling the path “arduous.” She reminisced feeling “a tremendous sense of belonging” after taking the Oath of Allegiance, saying, “I forever discarded the layer of burden connected with whether I would be able to live in the United States.” Trump added, “I hope you’re blanketed with similar feelings of comfort right now.”

The former first lady, originally from Slovenia, moved to New York City in 1996 and became a naturalized citizen in 2006.

Winston Wolkoff told CNN Trump’s appearance was “again, I keep going back to that publicity moment, and I find it to be really quite repulsive.”