July 24, 2024

Melania Trump “lives in an ivory tower of denial,” said a friend of the former first lady — who was absent as her husband made his first public comments after becoming the first commander-in-chief in US history to be arraigned on criminal charges

Following the arraignment, former President Donald Trump delivered a defiant speech at his Mar-a-Lago resort on Tuesday in which he thanked his family for their support.

But Melania, 52, was nowhere to be seen as Trump decried the charges stemming from payments to porn star Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal to keep quiet about purported extramarital affairs.

Former Melania aide and best friend Stephanie Winston Wolkoff — who previously revealed that the former first lady privately referred to Daniels as “the porn hooker” — told Page Six, “Melania lives in an ivory tower of denial.”

Wolkoff, a former senior Vogue staffer who was Melania’s adviser until 2018, said of the former first lady’s absence at Mar-a-Lago’s ballroom, “I never expected to see her there. Her silence is deliberate, it is her weapon of choice and her protective armor.”

“Of course she knows about Donald’s affairs, she knows everything. But her silence is her dignity. She will stand by her husband, as she always does. I don’t think Melania is humiliated by his affairs — but she is angry.”

But that doesn’t mean she’s going anywhere.

“Still she isn’t leaving him,” Wolkoff added. “This is a transactional marriage, she knew what she was getting into when she married Donald. Her means of survival is to just act like it never happened.

“Privately, Melania says people are just jealous, and she hoped the Stormy Daniels scandal would be swept under the carpet. Her way of coping is to never let her feelings show or affect her. I predict we will see her back at his side at the next social event at Mar-a-Lago.”

Wolkoff added that Melania would go to great lengths to avoid situations where she might be quizzed by the media about her husband: “Melania believes she doesn’t have to answer or explain herself to anyone, so she’s not going to put herself in that position.”

Wolkoff also writes in her tell-all memoir, “Melania and Me: The Rise and Fall of My Friendship with the First Lady,” about how “I’d known all along how impenetrable and unflappable she was, but it wasn’t until after hearing the ‘Access Hollywood’ tape or about the affairs, I had no idea of her grit.

“Not many people could bear having their lives ripped open and all their regretful, hateful, humiliating moments splayed out for the world to see and judge. Melania and Donald, a perfect match, could tolerate any amount of ridicule and flick it aside. I always interpreted that as her resigning herself to an unconventional marriage or household and having no expectations of Donald as a faithful husband or doting father.”

Wolkoff and Melania, who met in 2003 in Manhattan, ended their friendship in 2018 following a bitter dust-up over the $26 million that Wolkoff’s company was paid to help plan the Trump inauguration.

Wolkoff has insisted she was “thrown under the bus” by the former first lady.

Melania was last seen with her husband last week, when the two were spotted dining at Mar-a-Lago not long after a Manhattan grand jury voted to indict him.

Trump is facing 34 felony counts of falsifying business records.

On Tuesday, Trump delivered his primetime post-arrest message surrounded by family including sons Don Jr. and Eric Trump, plus daughter Tiffany Trump.

Ivanka Trump and husband Jared Kushner were in Wyoming to celebrate Passover. 

Trump, 76, told around 400 supporters at his Palm Beach, Fla., residence and club, “I have a great family and they’ve done a fantastic job and we appreciate it very much.

“They’ve gone through a lot. 

“I have a son here [Don Jr.] who has done a great job, another son here [Eric] who has done a great job, and Ivanka,” added Trump.

“And Barron will be great someday,” the former president went on, mentioning his teenage son with third wife Melania. “He is tall and he is smart.”

But the former first lady was not mentioned or singled out for praise.

Oddly, her father, Viktor Knavs, was present for the speech and sat between the former president’s two sons.

The Post reported that Michael LaRosa, a former spokesman for first lady Jill Biden, suggested on Twitter that Melania’s absence from her husband’s speech was significant.

“Prior to Trump appearing in the doorway, I held my breath, awaiting to see if the former First Lady would be by his side, clasping his hand, and showing unconditional love and support,” LaRosa said. “There would have been so much power in that picture.”

A rep for Trump didn’t comment and Melania’s rep didn’t get back to Page Six.