First Lady Ousts Senior Adviser Whose Firm Made Millions from Inauguration

Donald Trump and Melania Trump greeting the crowd
President Donald J. Trump and First Lady Melania greet service members at the Salute to Our Armed Services Ball at the National Building Museum, Washington, D.C., Jan. 20, 2017. The event, one of three official balls held in celebration of the 58th Presidential Inauguration, paid tribute to members of all branches of the armed forces of the United States, as well as first responders and emergency personnel. (DoD photo by U.S. Army Sgt. Kalie Jones)

Donald Trump and Melania Trump greeting the crowd

A spokesperson for First lady Melania Trump said she severed any financial ties with the firm of a longtime friend turned adviser which charged the President’s inauguration committee $26 million for planning the event.

The Trumps are upset that the committee agreed to pay Stephanie Winston Wolkoff’s event planning company such a hefty sum but donated to charities a lot less than promised. Trump’s Inauguration is considered one of the most expensive in the U.S. history at round $200 million.

The first lady’s office which enrolled Wolkoff as an unpaid senior adviser to Mrs Trump severed the contract, according to a New York Times report published on Monday.

The move was likely spurred by the “displeasure” from the Trump family over the news that the event planning company took nearly $26 million to plan the presidential inauguration in January 2017 but just $5 million went to charities.

A tax filling shows that Wolkoff raked $25.8 million for her firm’s services. The First Lady reportedly was not involved with the inaugural committee and had no influence on its decisions in the matter. So, she had no idea how the money was spent.

The Trumps Upset about Charity Donations

The tax filling which was recently published by the inauguration committee shows that the panel paid four firms more than $57 million to plan the event. Only $5 million was given to charities, which is less than the Trumps had expected.

Wolkoff’s firm was solicited six weeks before the big event but received a whopping $25,843,509. The senior adviser’s lion’s share was $1.6 million while one of her associates, David Monn, received nearly $4 million.

In 2009, Obama’s inauguration cost $190 million after being adjusted for inflation. Trump’s inauguration cost more than $200 million. White House sources confirmed that the money given to Wolkoff’s firm “really raised eyebrows” back then.
Image Source: Wikimedia

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