Melania Trump is obliterating one of the biggest issues many had against Michelle Obama. She’s a different kind of first lady than her predecessor and by no means requires the same resources to fulfill her role — at least up to this point.
Fox News reveals that an analysis of a White House personnel report shows that Melania Trump has dramatically decreased the members of her East Wing staff compared to that of Michelle Obama’s. As of June, only four people worked for Mrs. Trump with an annual salary of $486,700, while 16 worked for Mrs. Obama during her first year in 2009 with a total annual salary of $1.24 million a year.
Melania doing away with one of the biggest expenses known to exist previously inside the White House is “intentional,” says her spokeswoman, Stephanie Grisham.
“As with all things that she does, she is being very deliberate in her hiring, focusing on quality over quantity. It is important to her that the team is a good fit for what she wants to accomplish as first lady, and that everyone works well together. She also wants to be mindful and responsible when it comes to taxpayer money.”
The White House annual report is sent to Congress and details the names, positions, and salaries of the staff. Not all of the employees for the Obama and Trump administrations were accounted for. Total staff members for Melania Trump is actually nine while Michelle Obama had 24 staffers. Mrs. Obama’s press secretary confirmed at the time that her personnel included 24 individuals.
Obama’s 24 aides might have broken records as Hillary Clinton had 19 staffers and Laura Bush had possibly more than 18 when they were serving as first lady. Clinton and Bush were right behind Michelle Obama, according to FactCheck.org in 2009.
Grisham told Fox News that nine people total are working for Melania Trump, five more than what was disclosed on the report. Mrs. Trump’s personnel include “a chief of staff, a communications director, a deputy chief of staff, and a deputy director of advance.”
Michelle Obama had the same staff but had “additional press aides, a director of policy and projects, a personal aide, a traveling aide, and a director of correspondence.”
As Fox News points out, Mrs. Obama’s larger staff may have been necessary for her “more aggressive agenda and embracing initiatives” for the Let’s Move! child obesity campaign.
Melania Trump cuts bloated first lady payroll from Michelle Obama dayshttps://t.co/LmTBloq4W7
— Fox News (@FoxNews) October 21, 2017
Mrs. Trump remained in New York City with son Barron until June of this year so he could finish up the school year. She wasn’t in a rush to staff the East Wing and is now embracing her role as first lady much more. As she settles into the White House and gets more situated in her initiatives that include fighting the opioid crisis and helping hurricane victims, she may require more staff.
The Trump administration as a whole has reduced staff positions in the White House. Forbes reported 110 fewer employees under President Donald Trump than Barack Obama. The four-year projected savings due to the cuts may be over $22 million.
[Featured Image by Win McNamee/Getty Images]