FILE - In this May 9, 2016 file photo, Ivana Trump, ex-wife of President Donald Trump, attends the Fashion Institute of Technology Annual Gala benefit in New York. (Photo by Michael Zorn/Invision/AP, File)
Nicole Moschella, Rare.us
Melania Trump is living in the White House, but Ivana Trump says she will always be the “first lady” in President Donald Trump’s past.
The ex-wife of the president sat down for an interview with “Good Morning America” on Monday and said that while she has a “direct line to the White House,” she never really has to use it.
“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. Because I’m basically first Trump wife, OK? I’m first lady,” Ivana Trump said, laughing.
Ivana Trump, 68, was married to Donald Trump from 1977 to 1992, and they have three children together: Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump and Ivanka Trump. She said that she always knew her ex would run for president after he received a letter from former President Ronald Reagan.
“Donald got letter from Reagan -- President Reagan -- and he said, ‘You should run for president,’” she told Amy Robach. “And I think he could do it if there would not be a scandal.”
But there was a scandal: Donald Trump’s infamous affair with Marla Maples, whom he married in 1993 and with whom he has one child, Tiffany Trump.
Ivana Trump also said that she and the president remain friends and that she occasionally offers him advice. She also said she talks to the president about once a week.
“Sometimes I tell him to just, not to speak that much and tweet out the tweets,” she said. “I think I don’t disagree with him because he has so much press against him, so if he says something, his words are going to be twisted immediately.”
Ivana Trump’s comments came during a time in which the former fashion model is promoting her new book, “Raising Trump,” which “pulls back the curtain on a tumultuous period of the president’s life, including the messy divorce that was splashed across New York’s tabloids for weeks, The Associated Press reported.
A spokeswoman for Melania Trump released a statement after Ivana Trump’s comments gained attention.
“Mrs. Trump has made the White House a home for Barron and the president. She loves living in Washington, D.C., and is honored by her role as first lady of the United States,” communications director Stephanie Grisham said. “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.”
In an interview with “CBS This Morning,” Ivana Trump acknowledged that Melania Trump is the first lady and she said the two get along. Ivana Trump called Maples, with whom Donald Trump had an affair during his marriage to Ivana Trump, “nobody.”