Melania Trump, America’s first lady, is a "very powerful behind the scenes force" within the White House and should be credited for getting Donald Trump to run for president, according to a new book on the administration.
Ronald Kessler, the author of The Trump White House: Changing the Rules of the Game, wrote that she has a "tremendous impact on policy and strategy" and that he believed their marriage, rocked by allegations of Mr Trump’s infidelity, would stand the test of time.
"She got him to run, he was pussy-footing around about running and she said you have to declare your candidacy and that’s what happened and he went up in the polls," Mr Kessler told CNN on Sunday.
"Beyond that she will disagree with him, she will sit in, in meetings with cabinet officers and she will disagree with Trump, her judgment is spectacular."
The former Washington Post reporter quoted from an interview he carried out with Sean Spicer, the former White House press secretary, who told him: "She is a very powerful behind-the-scenes force.
"I don’t think people fully recognise how influential she is and what a grounded political sense she has on her own. She always seems to have the pulse on the right move and the right person at the right time.
Mr Spicer added: "When she weighs in, it’s always spot on."
The book, which is based on hours of interviews with high level West Wing staff and the president himself, also reveals that Mr Trump was regularly approached by eligible billionaires desperate to go on a date with Hope Hicks, his former communications director.
Mr Kessler wrote: "Donald Trump has told friends that billionaires are constantly asking him to fix them up with Hicks, who is consumed by her work and until recently, was never seen with a date. Trump says he refuses."
According to the author, after once watching Mr Kushner on TV, Mr Trump said: " Look at Jared, he looks like a little boy, like a child."
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