Stephanie Winston Wolkoff was not fired by First Lady Melania Trump as previously believed, according to Axios. Run by co-founder and CEO Jim Vandehei, the publication is helmed by the former White House correspondent for the Washington Post and co-founder of Politico. Previously, the Washington Post reported that Melania had cut ties with Wolkoff after the public learned about Stephanie’s company being paid $26 million for wok in planning President Donald Trump’s inauguration. Recently, Melania Trump’s spokesperson, Stephanie Grisham, told the publication that Melania had “severed the gratuitous services contract” with Stephanie.
However, according to a new report from Axios, Melania has not fired Wolkoff. The publication notes that Grisham informed them that Melania did not have any involvement with those who ran the Inaugural Committee. Melania also reportedly “had no knowledge of how funds were spent” by President Donald Trump’s inaugural committee, according to her spokesperson.
As reported by the New York Times, “the advisor, Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, personally netted $1.62 million.” It is not clear how much, if any, of the $1.62 million was split between Wolkoff and employees of her firm, approximately 12 of whom worked the inaugural event, as reported by the Washington Post.
“Wolkoff, who employed about a dozen staff members for the event, retained $1.62 million for consulting and executive production, according to a person familiar with the arrangement.”
In spite of the “severed” contract with Wolkoff causing confusion, with plenty of publications like Vanity Fair believing that to mean that Melania had fired Wolkoff, Axios reports that Melania has retained Wolkoff “as her adviser.”
With Stephanie now working as a “volunteer” for Melania, the tasks that Melania’s adviser performs for the first lady are not clear. What is clear is that there is still plenty of interest in Wolkoff being displayed on social media, as witnessed by the plethora of tweets being published to Twitter about Stephanie, in the wake of Trump’s inaugural committee tax records revealing that the committee paid $25.8 million to WIS Media Partners, Stephanie’s event planning company.
The New York Times was credited with breaking the news about Wolkoff’s firm — a new company — being paid a whopping $26 million for their inaugural duties.