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Trump’s first and third wife battle over ‘first lady’ title

Sheetal Sukhija - Tuesday 10th October, 2017

WASHINGTON, U.S. - A true ‘real housewives’ style drama gripped Washington on Monday, after U.S. President Donald Trump’s first and third wife engaged in a public war of words.

Trump’s first wife, Ivana, in an interview with Good Morning America, made comments that irked the President’s current and third wife Melania Trump.

Promoting her book, ‘Raising Trump,’ Ivana appeared on the show to speak about parenting Trump's three eldest children.

In the interview she said, "I'm basically first Trump wife. OK? I'm first lady."

She also offered faux sympathy for Melania Trump, and said, "I think for her to be in Washington must be terrible.”

Soon after, Melania Trump, adopting her husband’s style of retort to opposers, swung back harder.

Her spokeswoman, Stephanie Grisham, issued a statement dismissing Ivana's remarks as "attention seeking" from someone who just wants to sell books.

The statement even clarified that Melania Trump does not, in fact, hate her Washington DC, life.

Grisham's response said, “Mrs Trump has made the White House a home for Barron and the President. 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, this is unfortunately only attention-seeking and self-serving noise."

From the Russia collusion controversy to his public fight with Republicans over various issues including North Korea, Iran and the healthcare reform bill, and even his personal public fights with NFL players and senators - Trump’s presidency from the start of the year has been surrounded by several headline-grabbing incidents.

However, this bit of public argument seemed to surprise many - including the producer known for engineering table-overturning fights on the "Real Housewife" franchise, Andy Cohen, who tweeted, "This is actually happening. All the wives are fighting. Even I AM SPEECHLESS.”

Ivana Trump even went on to reveal that she has a direct line to the White House and her ex-husband, but she doesn't use it lest the current Mrs Trump get the wrong idea.

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

Commenting the Melania, Ivana said, "I think for her to be in Washington must be terrible. It's better her than me. I would hate Washington."

In what is also being perceived as a dig against Melania Trump, Ivana said, "Would I straighten up the White House in 14 days? Absolutely. Can I give the speech for 45 minutes without [a] teleprompter? Absolutely. Can I read a contract? Can I negotiate? Can I entertain? Absolutely. But I would not really like to be there. I like my freedom.

Historically, it is unprecedented to have a president with a living former spouse willing to weigh in publicly on the first couple.

While the White House has witnessed widowers with second wives, other than Trump, there's been only one divorced president: Ronald Reagan, who was divorced from his first wife, actress Jane Wyman in 1948.

Wyman, however, remained famously silent on her former husband throughout his political career and revealed her reason for keeping quiet about Reagan in an interview several years later.

Wyman said, "It's bad taste to talk about ex-husbands and ex-wives, that's all."

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