An ‘annoyed’ Melania Trump stays mom on Mar-a-Lago search as she promotes NFT business

“Just learned that officers were going through the First Lady’s closets and rummaging through her clothing and personal items. Surprisingly, they left the area in relative shambles. Wow!” Trump posted a message to Truth Social.

He was much angrier — exclamation mark angry — than Melania Trump, according to five people who spoke to CNN about Melania Trump’s recent activities under the condition of anonymity to protect personal and professional relationships.

“She cared, but not the way he cared,” said one person familiar with the former first lady’s reaction.

The FBI was in her bedroom, her closets and her bathroom getting a little too close to her independent job. But the former first lady hasn’t been provoked enough to make a public statement about the search, or what it yielded. Instead, her public statements — through her Twitter account — have focused on her most apparent passion since she left Washington: NFTs.

CNN has reached out to Trump several times for comment on this story and received no response.

“She is private and she protects her son and her home,” the second person added.

The order was explicit about the rooms and areas the officers could search, and it included every room the former president visits, says a person familiar with the details of the order’s execution. The Trumps have separate bedrooms on their 3,500-square-foot Mar-a-Lago, three people familiar with the layout tell CNN, but Melania Trump’s bedroom and closets are located a short hallway from the sleeping quarters and home office of the Trump family. the former president.

Though she was angry and annoyed that strangers went through her curated and expensive collection of clothes, shoes, and bags, those who know her say was — and remains — distinctively silent.

“Why would she say anything?” says one person familiar with Trump’s long-standing taciturn communication strategy. “Her thinking is, if she’s quiet, it’ll just disappear,” this person says.

Trump’s few recent public sightings include a visit to a hair salon in Manhattan.

The coolness also stems from a fundamental assurance that Donald Trump’s belongings, obtained anyway, would not be found in her bedroom or closet.

“She would never let him keep his things in her room and he would honestly never ask,” said one of the people.

“(Melania Trump) has always considered what Donald is doing to be separated from her,” said another person who has known the Trumps for several years. “Decisions he makes about his business are his decisions, not hers.”

The Former First Lady Keeps Her Attention to NFTs

The case of a former president of the United States that remains in the headlines has kept Donald Trump busy. As focused as he has been for the past year and a half — as Republican king or fending off investigations — Melania Trump’s post-White House life was less prominent.

Though out of the public eye, Trump has been giving a lot of attention to a company called USA Memorabilia since early this year, using her Twitter platform – she has a personal account with 2 million followers and an “official” office account with 124,000 followers – to Promote NFTs created and sold by USA Memorabilia.

Of the roughly 50 tweets Trump has posted since mid-February, nearly half have been retweets of those posted by USA Memorabilia’s Twitter account, which has fewer than 500 followers, or its own tweets that the NFTs posted on the site. connect.

“It’s weird,” says a former Trump adviser of the former first lady’s promotion of a for-profit company. “To shamelessly monetize American themed collectibles.”

Two people familiar with Trump’s foray into NFTs say she’s been advised of late by Marc Beckman, a longtime friend and husband of fashion designer Alice Roi, who designed a handful of outfits for Trump during her tenure as first lady. Beckman ran a marketing and branding agency for many years, but recently moved into the world of cryptocurrencies and how to capitalize on the new era of technology-based collectibles. Beckman released a book in 2021 called “The Comprehensive Guide to NFTs, Digital Artwork, and Blockchain Technology”.

Several attempts to reach Beckman by CNN were unsuccessful.

There is no outwardly identifiable link between USA Memorabilia and the former first lady, but the only two accounts the Twitter account follows are hers, and most of the items sold include Melania Trump or her husband. Multiple attempts by CNN to contact representatives of USA Memorabilia have gone unanswered.

The collections released on the company’s website are subjects bordering on the government, such as the National Parks Collection, the Valor Collection – aimed at the branches of the US military – and the POTUS Trump Collection, which are NFTs of various moments in Trump’s presidential history.

An NFT in the latest collection — costing $50 each — is of the first first pair with a digitally waving American flag and Mount Rushmore in the background; another, the “45 First Lady NFT,” shows Melania Trump and Donald Trump in tuxedos, an official photo from their time in the White House, used as their 2020 Christmas card.

While the profits from USA Memorabilia NFTs are not publicly available — and attempts by CNN to get that information from the company have been unsuccessful — the former first lady continues to promote sales via social media.

“It’s very unusual for a former first lady not to take advantage of her continued power and prestige after she leaves office. But I’ve learned it’s a losing game trying to understand what Melania is doing,” said Kate Andersen Brower. , CNN contributor and author of “The Residence” and “First Women: The Grace and Power of America’s Modern First Ladies.”

Charitable component of NFT sales still unclear

Also not mentioned in Trump’s tweets promoting USA Memorabilia, the most recent of which occurred on Monday, is a charitable component the former first lady announced last December, when she first announced her venture into blockchain sales with a digital image. of $150 from her eyes.

Trump said the sale would lead to a “commitment to children through my Be Best initiative,” and that the profits would provide computer science skills to children aged out of the foster care system. However, no cut-off of the portion of the proceeds nor confirmation of organizations that would receive the money raised was announced, despite repeated requests from CNN over several months for clarity.

In an interview with Fox in May, Trump said she would be handing out grants from an initiative she calls “Fostering the Future,” but so far only one grant has been publicly awarded, details of which have not been released publicly.

“Just as it is in office, there is no rule book for how much or how little (a former first lady) should do. Every woman has approached it differently,” said Brower of Trump’s unorthodox business model.

First ladies don’t get government money to set up big offices after they leave the White House, and after their husband dies, they receive a paltry $20,000 a year in pension. Several of the people CNN spoke to for this story speculated that Trump is trying to start a company separate from her husband’s, which is currently embroiled in various legal entanglements.

“I can imagine that as a wife and mother of his child she has to worry (about the future),” said the person who has known Trump for many years. “She may be at least a little concerned about how her own life will change.”

With one of the largest public platforms in the world, it’s challenging to understand why Trump supports a little-known digital memorabilia company when – perhaps like her recent predecessors – she could launch initiatives with global influence. To this end, any of those who know Trump and discussed her recent activities with CNN were stunned.

“To sum it up, I think it’s a missed opportunity for a former first lady to remain irrelevant,” Brower said.

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