Omarosa Manigault Newman claimed in her 2018 book, Unhinged: An Insider’s Account of the Trump White House, that the First Lady intends to divorce Mr Trump after almost 16 years of marriage. Ms Newman met Mr Trump in 2004 after appearing on The Apprentice and was later hired as the Assistant to the President and Director of Communications for the Office of Public Liaison back in January 2017.
Speaking to Lorraine Kelly of breakfast show Lorraine, Ms Newman commented on the Trumps’ marriage, describing it as “a very strange” union.
She said: “It’s a very strange marriage, and I’m very cautious to comment on the dynamics of people’s marriage — you never know the inner-workings — but I’ve known this couple since they were dating.
“And in fact, they got married a year after The Apprentice aired.”
She added: “What I’ve observed over the last 17 years… sometimes they like each other and other times she’s repulsed by him.
“As we saw just on the debate last Thursday, he went to go and touch her hand and she smacked it away.”
But Ms Newman is not the only former White House staffer to point out Mr Trump’s unusual marriage dynamics.
Ms Trump’s former assistant and friend, Stephanie Winston Wolkoff labelled the couple as a “transactional marriage”.
During an appearance on BBC Newsnight, Ms Wolkoff said the First Lady was an enigma to everyone else.
She said Ms Trump had a “wall” around her that had kept her “mysterious” to the public eye.
Ms Wolkoff added: “Nothing behind that is what represents the true Melania.
“The mysteriousness, the ability to keep that wall up has enabled her to keep this mystique.
“This sphinx-like being that everyone is wondering if that is really who she is and it’s lead to a lot of conversations, ‘Is she a victim? Is she locked up? Is she going to divorce him?’
“The reality is perception for the Trumps is everything, we know that. It’s been written about by Ivanka’s own words.”
BBC presenter Kirsty Wark asked: “You describe their engagement in 2004 as either a magic moment or making a deal. Is it a transaction? Do you believe that?”
Ms Wolfoff replied: “I do believe it’s a transactional marriage. Donald got arm candy, the Vogue cover legitimised Melania which legitimised Donald as well and Melania got two dynamic decades.
“She was a young striving model, she didn’t have the success yet, she met Donald, she married, she had a son, she became an American citizen and then 10 years after that she’s the First Lady of the United States. I do believe there was a magic moment but I also believe it was a made for TV moment.”