Sat. Oct 1st, 2022


The Real News Network

Ivana Trump’s bold claim: ‘I would straighten up the White House’

9 min read

She spends her winters in Florida, and spring and autumn at one of the best addresses in the world, between Fifth and Madison Avenues in New York City.

Every summer she can be seen walking the streets of St Tropez on the French Riviera wearing mini-dresses with plunging necklines not often seen on a 71-year-old woman, and with a much younger man on her arm.

Wherever she is, every fortnight Ivana Trump calls direct into the White House for a chat with her first husband – or he calls her.

President Donald Trump speaks with Ivana about their three children, but also about politics, the media and, sometimes, he listens to her for advice.

The two are still “very good friends” despite their “nasty” divorce almost three decades ago.

And it’s easy to believe Ivana – the only one of Trump’s three wives to have run his businesses – and Trump still have a lot in common.

Ivana surprised observers when she came out this week and said she didn’t “think he has a choice” other than “to go and declare that he lost” and accept his political career is over.

But it appears not to have arisen out of bad blood between the two – this week’s comment about Trump being a bad loser is similar to what she said about their divorce – “he always has to win”.

In interviews since Trump took office in 2017, Ivana has naughtily suggested she is the real “First Lady Trump”, sparking a feud with Melania Trump, with whom she had been friendly.

Ivana looks like she’s a lot of fun to be with, and it’s not hard to imagine what she might have brought to Trump’s presidency if she had been FLOTUS.

It’s not hard, because the Czech-born businesswoman, media personality, fashion designer, and author says it herself.

In comments often delivered with a wicked laugh, Ivana seems to suggest that Melania is possibly a little dull and that she, Ivana, is the only of Trump’s wives who is his intellectual equal.

And she would have been a very different First Lady, had Trump run for President, as he had considered doing, as a much younger man.

Asked on the UK TV show Loose Women whether Melania was doing a good job as First Lady, Ivana said she was “not sure” and described Melania as “very quiet”.

On ABC TV America’s Nightline, Ivana said Melania was “really quiet and doesn’t go to too many places, she goes to where she has to go”, before making revealing comments about the role of First Lady.

“I think for her to be in Washington must be terrible,” she said, adding, “better her than me. I would hate Washington.”

Unprompted, Ivana continued, “But would I straighten up the White House in 14 days? Absolutely.

“Can I give the speech for 45 minutes without teleprompter? Absolutely.

“Can I read a contract? Can I negotiate? Can I entertain? Absolutely, but I would not really like to be there.”

Ivana revealed she had turned down an offer from the President to be ambassador to the Czech Republic.

“Donald said if you want to take the position, I give it to you,” she said.

“But I said I would not have the freedom. Bye-bye to Miami in the winter, bye-bye to New York in spring and fall.

“Bye-bye to St Tropez where I spend all summer long.”

She told ITV’s Loose Women, “I really don’t like the politics all that much.

“I’m in the stage of my life when I do what I want to do, I go wherever I want to go with whomever I want to lunch and dinner … and I can afford it, thank God.”

In a range of interviews Ivana, who these days runs a property portfolio and spends time with her 10 grandchildren, has revealed much about her life withTrump.

And although she was his first wife, he wasn’t hers – and she’s had two more husbands since.

Born Ivana Marie Zelníčková in Czechoslovakia when it was under Communist rule, Ivana made the country’s junior national ski team, which allowed her to travel.

She earned a master’s degree in physical education from Prague University, then married an Austrian ski instructor, a platonic friend, to get an Austrian passport.

This enabled her to leave Czechoslovakia, without defecting, meaning she could return home to visit family.

She obtained an absentee divorce and moved to Canada where she worked as a ski instructor and as a model.

Already fluent in German, Russian and Czech, she learnt French and English.

In 1976, Ivana was in a group of models introduced to Donald Trump. They married on April 7, 1977 and their first child, Donald Trump Jr was born on December 31 that year.

Ivana told ABC TV America’s Nightline that she insisted on naming their son Donald, even though Donald Sr had objected and said “what if he’s a loser?”.

When their daughter Ivanka was born in October 1981, again Ivana insisted on calling her Ivana Marie after herself, Ivanka being an affectionate diminutive in Czech.

Donald had wanted to call her Tiffany because of the deal which gave him the air rights over the Tiffany jewellery company’s flagship Fifth Avenue store, and thus the ability to build Trump Tower above.

“And I said ‘over my dead body she’s going to be called Tiffany’,” Ivana told Nightline.

Trump’s fourth child, to Marla Maples would be called Tiffany, but Ivana has refused ever to refer to the woman who “destroyed my marriage” by name, merely calling her “the showgirl”.

In the 1980s the Trumps became New York’s flashiest power couple.

Ivana held key positions in the Trump Organisation, a group founded by Trump’s father and grandmother which once comprised hundreds of business entities.

She described Trump as the “visionary” and herself as the “manager … he would throw the project at me and once it was run like a Swiss watch, he would throw me another project”.

“I was his partner. I was a very successful businesswoman,” she told ITV’s Good Morning Britain.

“I built the Trump Tower, I was flying for eight years to Atlantic City, at eight o’clock on helicopter, coming back at five in afternoon running the casinos.

“Then I run the Plaza Hotel, I was the boss.”

Ivana gave birth to their third child, Eric, in 1984, gained an interior designer’s licence and became the Trump Organisation’s chief designer.

Husband and wife were charismatic, both workaholics, although Ivana takes credit for bringing up the children.

“Full credit,” she told Nightline, “I was very strict but I was loving.

“Donald was on the telephone making the deals.

“He was a loving father, don’t get me wrong, and he was a good provider, but it was only when they were 18 years old he could communicate with them.

“He could start to talk business with them.”

At Christmas time in 1989, the family took a holiday in Aspen where Marla Maples appeared and approached Ivana, telling her who she was and that she was in love withTrump.

The split made front page news in the New York Post and by February 1990, Trump had locked Ivana out of her Plaza Hotel office.

Ivana identified this as the time Trump could have made his first tilt at the presidency, but that was “ruined by the scandal of his affair” with “the showgirl”.

“Every American woman hated him,” she told Nightline.

“And every American hated him. There was no way he could run.”

Trump married Maples in 1993, who gave birth to their daughter Tiffany in August of that year, and divorced her in 1999.

In a cameo in the 1996 movie First Wives Club, Ivana encounters the characters played by Goldie Hawn, Diane Keaton and Bette Midler, and says, “and remember, don’t get mad, get everything”.

In real life, Ivana and Trump went through two years of tough negotiations over four prenuptial agreements made during their 15-year marriage.

“Donald during the divorce was brutal,” she said.

“He viewed the divorce as a business deal and he cannot lose, he has to win.

“So it took about two years, and after the financial situation was straightened up, after all that was solved we became very good friends … we just talked and we are friends.”

She told both Nightline and Good Morning America in 2017 that she doesn’t abuse the private line she has to the President, for fear of making Melania jealous.

“I [don’t] really want to call him there, because Melania is there,” she said.

“And I don’t want to cause any kind of jealousy or something like that, because I’m basically first Trump wife. OK? I’m first lady,” she said, laughing.

The comments, made while Ivana was promoting her book Raising Trump – about bringing up her children – included Ivana’s observations about Melania’s ability as First Lady and hating Washington.

The response, via the First Lady’s press secretary, was swift and scathing.

“Mrs Trump has made the White House a home for Barron and The President,” it said.

“She loves living in Washington, DC, and is honoured by her role as First Lady of the United States.

“She plans to use her title and role to help children, not sell books.

“There is clearly no substance to this statement from an ex. Unfortunately only attention seeking and self-serving noise.”

Following the divorce, Ivana started her own lines of clothing, fashion jewellery, and beauty products, something she later encouraged her daughter Ivanka to do.

For 15 years from the mid-90s, she wrote an advice column Ask Ivana, for the weekly tabloid Globe, and seemed to drop the surname Trump and just go with her first name.

In 1995 she married Ricardo Mazzuchelli, an Italian-born businessman who was older than Trump, and they divorced two years later.

She dated playboy Italian aristocrat Count Roffredo Gaetani, who was about 10 years younger than her, from 1997 until his death in a car crash in 2005.

Ivana married Italian actor Rossano Rubicondi in 2008, in a $3m ceremony at the Trump Palm Beach Florida mansion, Mar-a-Lago whereTrump married Melania in 2005.

Rubicondi and Ivana divorced the following year, but she and the 48-year-old have reunited and parted several times.

“The relationship just ran its course,’ she told the New York Post’s Page Six last year.

“Rossano spends a lot of time in Italy and I spend a lot of time in New York, Miami, and Saint-Tropez, and he has to work.

“The long-distance relationship really doesn’t work. We had a good time and are friends. The split was amicable.”

The couple, who appeared on the Italian version of Dancing With the Stars, called Ballando Con Le Stelle, reportedly rowed over the fact that Ivana’s children were rude to him and did not accept the relationship.

Rubicondi in particular disliked Donald Trump Jr, who he said was an “idiot” and a “jerk”.

Ivana was photographed at St Tropez last year with a mystery younger man, but as she told Loose Woman, in an interview in September this year, she was not really interested in dating.

“I’m not really looking,” she said.

“I have a lot of friends which are companions and I go with them for the lunches or the dinners.

“Now we don’t have any balls or opera which I used to go to, we just don’t have it because of the vaccine.

“But I have a lot of friends.”

Ivana has dismissed suggestionsTrump is racist or sexist, saying “sometimes he says the things which are silly, he don’t really mean them or something like that.

“He’s definitely not racist, I’m sure of that.”


“He treated me fantastic. Donald was always polite.”

When she spoke to People magazine during the week aboutTrump accepting he had lost the election, Ivana said she hoped her children could get back to their “normal” lives away from Washington.

But she could envisage a role as future “First Mother” of a president, should her daughter run for office in 2024.

“Ivanka, why not?,” she said.

“She’s in the White House every day, she’s next to her father every day.

“I think one say she could be the first woman president, definitely, she’s smart as hell, she’s beautiful … how much can you have?”

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