tv CNN Special Report Melania Trump The Making of a First Lady CNN March 10, 2017 9:00pm-10:01pm PST
switch to comcast business. with high-speed internet up to 10 gigabits per second. you wouldn't pick a slow race car. then why settle for slow internet? comcast business. built for speed. built for business. her journey to the white house spanned two continents. >> i'm from slovenia and i grew up there as a teenager. >> slowendian model and wife of a millionaire suddenly in the spotlight herself. >> i don't want to damage my reputation and my name. >> answering questions and he's
an adult and knows the consequences. >> making promises about the future. >> i will be different than any other first lady and i will help women and help children. >> tonight a revealing look at first lady melania trump. she is more than the so-called first lady of fashion. she is a devoted mother who speaks six languages. after watching her husband surge to a stunning victory is now on her way to becoming a global icon. i'm randi kay and this is a special report. melania trump, the making of a first lady. the future first lady always turned heads. even when she was young, growing up in her home country of slovenia. >> what's your maiden name? >> knauss.
>> from slovenia? >> from slovenia. >> she was born melania knsuss in 1970. she grew up under communist rule. >> her father was apparently a member of the communist party which was an unusual thing. he sold cars and built the family a nice home outside of the central city. her mother was a pattern designer in a textile factory. she worked hard as was common in the countries. >> my sister who is an incredible woman and a friend and i were raised by my wonderful parents. my elegant and hardworking mother introduced me to fashion and beauty.
my father victor installed in me a passion for business and travel. their integrity, compassion and intelligence reflects to this day on me and for my love of family and america. >> friends in her hometown remember her as sophisticated. she didn't drink or stay up late or like being the center of attention. >> one of her classmates recalled how she would get cat calls and boys would make nasty remarks at her. her friend would notice that melania would pull up inside of herself and look ahead as if she didn't hear it. >> she immersed herself in the studies of design and architecture and dreamed big. >> sheer also decided early on that slovenia was too small for
her. she was determined to get out into the larger world. a bigger world. >> she was obviously a pretty girl and was told that from the beginning. therefore that kind of made modelling and fashion and style and the rest of it an obvious outlet. >> melania put college on hold by the time she was 20 to pursue modelling in milan and paris. she got commercial work too, playing of all things, what appears to be the first femal president of the united states. in this 1993 ad. >> they saw her in milan and was so impressed, he suggested she move to new york city to model for his agency. >> she had a great portfolio and
i told her melania, would you like to try the american market. >> she said? >> she was very interested and a few months later she came to the states. >> at the time she was 24. able to speak six languages including italian, french, and german. but immediately felt like new york was home. >> just the energy in new york. the opportunities. different world, different culture. it really attracted me. >> how would you describe her style and beauty? >> she has a strong sense of style and this has been her life since she was a child. fashion magazines and modelling. she has a sense of style and a beautiful body. >> then in september of 1998 at 28, two years after the future first lady arrived in new york city came a chance meeting that
would change her life forever. >> we met at a fashion party. it was a big fashion party that my friend organized. fashion week. he invited me. that's how we met with donald. >> donald as in donald j. trump. she met her future husband and the man who would become the nation's 45th president at a party at manhattan's club. >> i was supposed to meet somedylse a there was a supermodel sitting nex to melania and i was supposed to meet her and they said there is so and so. i said forget about her. who is the one on the left. >> they hosted the party and introduced them. >> she told them the businessman had sparkle. >> how did they react? >> i saw there was a chemistry
and something magic. >> he asked me for the number. i said i will not give you my number. so if you give me your numbers, i will call you. he was known as kind of a lady's man. >> melania waited a week to call donald trump later telling gq magazine i was not star struck and maybe he noticed that. >> we went on a date and had a great place. there was a place in new york downtown. >> at the time they met, donald trump was 52 and melania was 28. even with more than two decades between them, the romance grew until 2000. that year donald trump considered running for president on the reform party ticket and the couple broke up briefly. >> i don't want to change him. i don't want to say come home
and be with me. i don't want to change him. i want to give him space. i think that's very important in the relationship. >> comingup, how the couple got back together. and the slow vendian model becomes a manhattan mom. >> a lot of hugs and a lot of love. that's the most important for me and for him. my business was built with passion... but i keep it growing by making every dollar count. that's why i have the spark cash card from capital one. with it, i earn unlimited 2% cash back on all of my purchasing. and that unlimited 2% cash back from spark means
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and donald trump got back together and from that point on there was no escaping the public eye. >> how much would i say their relationship raised her profile? >> i think very few people would have known much at all aut then melania but for donald trump. she was not a person on page six prior to the relationship. she would never have been on howard stern. this is just not her world. >> suddenly she was christening a cruise ship and appearing in a movie and posing in the "sports illustrated" swimsuit edition. >> it's a once a year. it's very important for the models to be in. >> there were appearances on trump's hit reality show the apprentice. >> melania loves your show. loves your show. >> and yes, on howard stern's
radio show. you in love with trump. >> we have a great time. >> you want to marry him? >> i'm not answering that. >> she did answer that on april 26th, 2004 nearly six years after he laid eyes on her, he proposed with a 15 carat $1.5 million diamond engagement ring. the future mrs. trump saying it was a great surprise. we are very happy together. the couple wed january 22nd, 2005. >> i think of their wedding as almost a broadway production. >> hundreds attended the star studded reception at the mar a lago country club resort. champagne was served along with a 57-pound grand marnier wedding
cake. >> he wanted to sell the broadcast rights to the wedding and melania put her foot down. >> she wore a christian dior gown from france adorned with 1500 crystals. estimated cost is 100 to $200,000. vogue magazine featured her on the cover. they settled in at the three-story manhattan penthouse overlooking fifth avenue. they granted larry king their first post wedding interview on cnn. >> kind of jokingly. >> you are proud of it? >> i'm proud of it, yes, i am. >> that name brought opportunity. the chief executive for aflac chose her to star in this ad, saying she is the bride of the year.
then came the questions about motherhood. >> do you want to be a mother? >> yes. we want to have a family. we want to have a baby together. >> you will be an amazing mothe. i have no doubt about that. she will be an amazing mother. on march 20th, 2006, they welcomed barron william trump. his birth made headlines. he was featured on extra. >> hello, extra. >> they got a tour of his nursery and a glimpse of the gold carriage. there was a photo spread in "people" magazine that revealed he had his own floor in the couple's penthouse. melania makes it clear she will be heavily involved in raising her son. >> i'm raising him and i want to raise him the right way. i don't want a nan tow raise him. >> she deserves enormous credit for sheltering her son from
trump world. she sheltered him and allowed him to just be a kid. that's a great thing. >> months after barron was born, she got her united states citizenship. >> i obey the law and i did it the right way. i didn't sneak in and stay here. >> as barron grew, motherhood remained her top priority. >> say hi, larry. >> i have to go to school now. >> yeah. you will have lunch and go to school. >> now? >> first you will have lunch and go to school. >> is he a little donald? >> he is. he is bossing everybody around the house. >> dear he fire somebody? >> actually he did. he fired the housekeeper and the nanny many times. >> melania taught him her native slovenian language and always picked barron up from school until the campaign. >> it's unconditional love and i
enjoy every day being a mom. very special time. sooner or later he will have wings to fly. i will be there for him, but he will be very indepennt and read to go. >> momm can i bring this to school? >> no. >> she was a very hands on mother. not every mother was as involved as she was. >> mrs. trump found time for personal projects too. launching a skin caroline made with caviar. her own jewelry line on qvc. despite their schedules, those who know them say she remains a devoted wife and mother in a loving relationship. >> we are very strong. we are two independent people thinking on our. we have a very open conversation and that's healthy for the
relationship. >> i see in donald this surprising, almost tender quality towards melania. when we were meeting, he said to her, well, tell him what a great husband i am, babe. >> he used the word babe. she looked at him and laughed and resisted. i think she was tormenting him for fun. this is something that president trump needs in his life. someone who can be playful and challenge him a little bit and may not be frightened of him. i don't think melania is a bit afraid of him. >> coming up, donald trump announces he is running for president. and melania trump faces new challenges and controversy. >> i will fight until the end. i don't want them to damage my reputation and my name. than my vacation. so when i need to book a hotel room, i want someone that makes it easy to find what i want.
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again. >> june 2017, republican donald trump enters the presidential race. a decision his wife melania trump says they made as a family. >> i gave him my support and said to him you cannot just talk. you need to go and run. >> do you think she wanted him to run for president? >> she said you have to do what the right with the country, but she expressed trepidation with the idea. >> her husband's idea landed melania trump smack in the middle of one of the ugliest presidential campaigns in history. >> would you consider her reluctant? >> she was a reluctant campaigner. i don't think she relishes public speaking. i don't think that she wants to be caught in the controversy. >> like the backlash at the
republican national convention. >> i'm so proud of your choice for president of the united states, my husband, donald trump. >> there was a about the of her speech that clearly was borrowed from a speech that michelle obama gave at the democratic national convention years earlier. >> you work hard for what you want in your life. >> your word is your bond. >> your word is your bond. >> pass them on to the next generations. >> pass those lessons to the many generations to follow. >> that's a big deal to page yarize on a world stage at a national convention where her husband is receiving the nomination. to have a big moment for her to have the campaign botched in a major way was devastating. >> can within days, an inhouse writer took the blame saying passages she liked from michelle
obama's speech made its way to the phrasing of the final draft. the writer called it a mistake. >> she made a mistake and people made mistakes and we all make mistakes. >> did the campaign fail melania trump? >> she should have been given a lot of help and a lot of really good attention before that speech was finished and delivered. it was obvious that no one vetted it in the way it should have been reviewed. >> about the same time, questions surfaced about mrs. trump's path to citizenship. after the new york post published nude photos of her, they appeared to be taken in 1995, but she said she came to the u.s. as a slovenian immigrant the following year. >> i came to the united states, to new york in 1996. >> the issue was whether or not the visa she had when she came over to work as a model allowed her to work or to visit.
>> i followed the law. i follow the law the way it's supposed to be. i never thought to stay here without papers. i had visa. >> mrs. trump came with the visa and i signed the visa and that was sometime in 96. >> you helped to arrange and secure the visa? >> did she ever work in the u.s. illegal. >> not to my recollection. >> she took to twitter writing i have at all times been in full compliance with the immigration laws of this country, period. any allegation to the contrary is simply untrue. >> was that a great introduction? >> donald trump promised to provide proof at a press conference at a later date. >> they said my wife melania might have come in illegally. can you believe that one?
headlines, maybe she came in illegally. she has gotten so documented. you still waiting for that press conference? >> no one will be surprised that it will never come. >> we love you, new hampshire. we together will make america great again. >> i think there is an issue with her immigration history. there is a doubt. it may never be resolved. >> he made questions about her college degree and whether or not she earned one. >> once people started calling attention to it, her website was scrubbed and the reference to her being a graduate was removed. >> did i win? >> there was also this. an anti-trump super pac ad aimed at mormon vers put out before the utah caucuses that used an old nude photo of her with the caption meet melania trump, the
next first lady or you can support ted cruz on tuesday. he denied having anything to do with it, but donald trump said lying ted cruz just used a picture of melania in his ad. be careful or i will spill the beans on your wife. the issue fuel-injected melania trump's modelling career into the campaign. something she didn't shy away from. >> i think people will always judge. i was a successful model and i did some photo shoots. they were risky, but nothing more than you see every year in "sports illustrated." >> forever antoine took that picture and others for the january 2000 issue of british gq magazine. >> it was a beautiful gentle girl. the fact that you can use a jet
was too perfect. we were trying to profile a beautiful woman, a sexy woman, a little bit provocative. >> i'm proud i did those pictures. i'm not ashamed of my body. >> she keeps being reminded of why she didn't top the do this. i don't envy her position and she didn't ask for it. >> coming up, the tape. >> you can do anything. grab them by the pussy. do anything. >> how would melania trump respond? ts, like paperless, multi-car, and safe driver, that help them save on their car insurance. any questions? -yeah. -how do you go to ththroom? great. any insunce-reted questions? -mm-hmm. -do you have a girlfriend? uh, i'm actually focusing on my career right now, saving people nearly $600 when they switch, so...
>> he will fight for you and our country. >> on the campaign trail, melania trump was more often seen than heard, but when she spoke, she never wavered in her public support. >> he has a great heart and he is tough and smart. >> even early on when donald trump referred to mexican immigrants as rapists and drug dealers, she had his back. >> he's not racist and not anti-immigrant. he wants to keep america safe. >> when he announced the plan to
temporarily ban muslims from entering the u.s. -- >> we need to screen who is coming into the country. he wants to protect america. >> would you say as far as the campaign goes, she helped her hurt the campaign? >> ultimately she helped her husband when tin the world trad center. she made a few key appearances in places where people were receptive to her. she added a touch of glamour. and also affirmed him in a way only she could. >> i start kissing them like a magnet. >> on october seventh, 2016 weeks before election day, the trump campaign in crisis mode. a recording of the candidate on "access hollywood" 11 years ago had just been released.
on it, donald trump is heard bragging about not only sisz kissing women, but grabbing women's genitals, all without consent. >> when you are a star, they let you do that. grab them by the pussy. do anything. >> this was a campaign full of bombshells and moments where everyone's head was spinning and the internet was falling off the axis. this was a moment where truly the world stopped and everyone said it's over. the campaign is over. >> the world wait and wondered how melania trump would respond. she issued a short statement the next day calling her husband's words unacceptable and offensive, but also said he has the heart and mind of a leader. ten days after the tapes came out, she broke her silence on national television. >> i was surprised because that is not the man that i know.
he was leading on like egging on from the host to say dirty and bad stuff. he apologized. i accepted his apology and i hope the american people will accept it as well. that's not a sexual assault. he didn't say he did it. >> she said what she had to do. it was a critical moment in the campaign. >> she steadied herself and went forward and spoke for him. that made a huge difference especially with white women voting for donald trump. i think they thought to themselves, wow, this woman is no push over. >> and at a debate days over the tape was released, mrs. trump raised eyebrows by wearing a hot pink blouse with a pussy bow
that set off words. >> do you think that was deliberate? >> if that was the way of speaking out, it was a smart way of doing it. it was a move that was true to herself. it was very fashionable and cunning. >> what did you make of that blouse at that moment. they are throwing their hands in the air and saying melania is subversive. she is making a comment on her husband and not on board. she is mad at him. i'm not sure that was true. she probably thought it was a pretty blouse and appropriate. hawaii neck and cover and feminine and my guess is that's about as far as it went. >> that same month the campaign was pushing back against allegations by dozens of women that donald trump had kissed them or groped them without consent. some of their stories date back 30 years. mr. trump denied all of it. >> i believe my husband.
i believe my husband. this was organized from the oppositi opposition. >> look at her and look at her words. >> when her husband turned the tables on the accusers, his wife stood by him. >> if you are a woman and he attac attacks, he will attack back no matter who you are. he treats them and treat them equal as men. >> the writer had profiled the couple in 2005. she claimed that donald trump forcibly kissed her at their palm beach home while a pregnant melania trump was in the room. she ran into mrs. trump on fifth avenue and said melania trump asked her why she had not seen her around. >> that is the portion that melania chose to take issue with. >> mrs. trump's lawyer demanded
a retraction saying that meeting on fifth avenue never happened. >> i would not recognize her. i would not recognize her on the street or ask her why we don't see her anymore. that was another thing like people come out saying lies. >> she briefly retreated from the campaign trail. but then melania trump came out strong in the final days to make her closing argument on behalf of her husband. >> he knows how to make real change. make america great again is not just a slogan. it is what has been in his heart since the day i met him. >> it was a moment where everyone stepped back and said why hasn't she been doing this more often? she is magnetic and magnanimous
and really a force here. such a good image for the trump campaign to project. >> god bless this beautiful country. >> on election night when donald trump wins the white house, melania trump makes history too as our next first lady. >> owl of a sudden she has gone from being the wife of a celebrity show host to the wife of the president of the united states. >> coming up as her husband prepares to move to the white house, all eyes as usual are on melania trump. an unlimited data plan is only as good as the network it's on. and verizon has been ranked number one for the 7th time in a row by rootmetrics. (man) hey, uh, what's rootmetrics? it's the nation's largest independent study and it ranked verizon #1 in call, text, data, speed and reliability. (woman) do they get a trophy? not that i know of. but you get unlimited done right. (man 2) why don't they get a trophy? (man 3) they should get something.
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>> per it's a question melania trump has been asked over and over. it's always a different answer. from roberto cavall ito gucci to michael kors, they are already calling her the first lady of fashion. melania tends to wear already very well established designers. >> big brands, definitely. brands that i think are labels of achievement and aspiration. the kind of things you wear when yo want to show you arrived. >> on her wedding day in 2005, melania trump wore a christian dior gown. >> 13 food train and 1500
crystals. john galliano for dior. she found it when she went to paris. >> she mainly favors european brands, but mixes in american brands too and often shops on line. >> she is charting her own path in terms of style. how unique is that. >> also an expression of a relationship with the american fashion industry that started after the election which a number of designers stood up and said i'm not going to dress mrs. trump. i won't work with her on her clothing. one of the funniest moments was derek lamb was one of the designers who said he wouldn't work with the new administration. he wore a derek lamb sweater to watch the super bowl because she could buy it. >> her first magazine cover as first lady, "vanity fair" mexico, a photo featured in gq a year before.
the glossy cover captures her swirling not spaghetti, but a string of diamonds and refers to her as the new jackie kennedy, a comparison that has been mad before. >> that are i compare me to jackie kennedy. it's an honor but of course i will be different. she had the great style and did a lot of good stuff. this is a different time now. >> during a photo shoot, melania trump called mrs. kennedy's style elegant, simple, and feminine. she may have been trying to emulate that on inauguration day. >> it looked a lot like the outfit mrs. kennedy had worn on inauguration day. her hair was bufont and she had gloves and matching pumps. >> it was a knockout. i couldn't walk down pennsylvania avenue in those
stilettos. >> she is developing a signature style. it is civic and classic lines. what she wears does not distract from her. so one always is focused on her face and her hair. >> she likes bright colors and very simple clothing. often sheath dresses. generally round necked and fairly covered. it's not very trumpian or what we think of as trumpian. it doesn't match the versailles look of the apartment, for example. >> on election day she wore a michael kors with a coat draped over her. >> that's the melania look. the coat clung over her shoulders and not with the arms through. it's a very new york look. it's very cool and collected. >> on election night, she wore a
$4,000 one-sleeved pant suit. new year's eve was a dress that won at the ball. she helped design the dress. >> can the american woman relate to her? >> i don't think the promise of the trump administration is about being every woman. they hold themselves up as aspiration and something that everybody should want. melania is that trophy. >> an amazing mother and incredible woman. melania trump. >> for her speech at the republican national convention, she stepped out in this silk dress. a few nights later, a fendi dress that she wantreportedly bt online. there have been a few fashion missteps. >> we are seeing her undergoing
a crash course in first late 101. the derek lamb sweater was slightly sheer. that's a little racy for a first lady. and probably was not intentional. >> and the dress she wore on red heart day? >> they had not thought it through. this is a french brand in her first public appearance since her husband stood on the steps of the capital and said my first rule is buy american. >> despite it all, to some her style exhibits strength and independence. >> melania trump is to my imagination emerging as a mona lisa of the first ladies. because it is by her appearance and her poster that she seems to signal a strong impression. it's a centered quality. it's an independent quality. >> an independent quality that adds to the mystery of melania
trump. >> i see in some way the same expression on her face at every moment. i know she is hiding from us. to some degree i feel it would be hard to be the one who is the subject of so much attention. and who knows that everyone is trying to figure out what is going on inside of you, when all you really want is to be a private person. coming up, first lady id melania trump takes manhattan. t so you can get a custom mortgage solution without missing a beat. quicken loans. proud supporter of college athletics. [drum line sfx: rocket]
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i, donald john trump, do solemnly swear. >> january 20th, 2017, donald j. trump is inaugurated as president of the united states. at his side, his wife and former slovenia model, melania trump. she is only the second foreign-born first lady. is that a big deal? >> i think it's a big deal because it's only occurred twice in over 200 years. and the first time it happened was with a woman who was born in england. so she spoke english and who had an american father. that's very different with melania trump.
>> most first ladies who come into office have been a senator's wife or a governor's wife or some kind of political spouse before. melania was the wife of a new york flashy billionaire. >> still, inauguration weekend the new first lady dazzled crowds. >> i'm honored to be your first lady. >> but soon after attending church at the national cathedral she swiftly returned to new york city with her son. she and baron trump would not be moving into the white house, at least not right away. for 12 days after the inauguration the first lady is nowhere to be seen. then she reemerges, greeting her husband in palm beach, florida, he's disembarked from air force one. that weekend they attended the red cross ball. but when the prime minister of japan and his wife visited the white house, melania trump was
absent. >> she wasn't really engaged with mrs. abe and so she went around washington on her own. this is a really significant breach of protocol. >> when asked about this, the white house explained that melania trump wanted to greet mrs. abe but that mrs. abe had already made commitments. melania trump later flew with the president and the abes to florida, spent the weekend at mar-a-lago and did some sightseeing together. a few days later, mrs. trump returned to the white house for the first time in nearly two weeks to greet the israeli prime minister and his wife. >> how important is it that the first lady be by the president's side? >> the first lady can be tremendously important and play a really important role for the rest of us by reaching her husband whom she knows better than anybody and telling him what's really going on in the land.
because her security bubble is somewhat -- somewhat less than his. and she can be a real truth teller. >> a sign mrs. trump will spend more time at the white house eventually, the hiring of staff for the eastg, social secretary and a chief of staff. >> i think that melania's going to be outstanding. she just opened up the visitor's center, in other words touring of the white house. >> as first lady she has promised to focus on cyber bullying and children, and what else remains to be seen. >> it is never okay when a 12-year-old boy or girl is mocked, bullied or attacked. it is terrible when that happens on the playground and it is absolutely unacceptable when it's done by someone with no name hiding on the internet. >> there is a little bit of irony there considering her husband has been known to be
quite a cyber bullier himself, but it is an issue that resinates with many moms and parents and children across the country. >> at a recent thank you rally in melbourne, florida, mrs. trump appeared to be playing a bigger role, reciting the lord's prayer. >> let us pray. our father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. >> and introducing her husband. after her own remarks. >> i will always stay true to myself and be truthful to you, no matter what the opposition is saying about me. >> how do you see her as first lady? >> i really don't expect melania trump to become a prominent figure in the way that roselyn carter or nancy reagan or the
bush women or michelle obama were. it's just not in her, i think, to be that engaged with the american public. >> it's a great responsibility and probably a very terrifying one, as well. and so i think maybe let's give her time to settle in and adjust. >> it's a daily grind and with a total loss of privacy, but with enormous benefits. thfit thing you see in the morning is the washington monument. your mode of transport is air force one and every time you walk into the room they play "hail to the chief." the rewards are enormous, but you have to make sacrifices for that role, too. you have to do your part. you have to prove yourself worthy of of this great role. >> the first lady of the united states. >> when melania trump moves into the white house this year, she will be 47 years old and the
47th first lady. breaking news, dozen of u.s. attorneys abruptly fired by the trump administration. this is "cnn tonight." i'm don len lemon. dozens of prosecutors told to clean up their desks in a move that one source says, quote, could not be handled any worse. what's behind the surprise? plus a handful of counterintelligence agents working in the shadows. secret briefings on capitol hill, but what do we know about russia? now a week after president trump's infamous wiretapping accusations the leaders of the house intelligence committee telling cnn they still haven't seen any evidence to back up the president's claims. let's get to our breaking news. the fire fg dozens of u.s. attorneys. joining me is john flannery,