Melania's statement called the ex-wife "attention-seeking and self-serving noise."
Long before he became president and long before he met his current wife at a party, Donald Trump was married to a former model named Ivana, the first woman that he committed to by a formal marriage.
She is the mother of Donald Trump's oldest three children—Donald Jr., Ivanka, and Eric Trump. After exchanging wedding vows in 1977, Ivana and Donald Trump were married for 14 years, and they were considered to be quite the power couple back in the 80s. It was after Trump's affair with model Marla Maples became a public affair did Ivana and Trump decide to get a divorce, according to Business Insider.
Although Trump went on to marry Marla Maples in 1993 and then went on to marry Melania in 2005, Ivana still takes pride in the fact that she was Trump's first wife.
In an interview with ABC News ahead of the release of her book, Raising Trump, Ivana claimed that she has a "direct number" to the White House and she phones up her ex-husband roughly once in two weeks. As the mother to Trump's oldest three children, Ivana also takes "full credit" and was completely in charge of their kids' childhood.
Talking about having a "direct number" to the White House, Ivana said, "I [don't] really want to call him there, because Melania is there." She also considers herself the first lady and said, "...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."
Despite declaring that she was the first lady, Ivana said that she wouldn't want to switch with Melania for her place in the White House because she would hate the life in Washington. "I think for her to be in Washington must be terrible. It's better her than me. I would hate Washington," Ivana said.
However, Ivana does believe that she would do a better job if she was there. "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," Ivana went on to say. "But I would not really like to be there. I like my freedom."
When Ivana, who grew up in former Czechoslovakia, was offered the position of being the U.S. ambassador by the president of the Czech Republic, she refused because she wanted to hold on to her independence.
She was asked about Trump's reaction when offered the role and said, "Well, Donald called me and he said, 'If you want to take the position, I [will] give it to you.' I said, 'Donald, no. I want my freedom.'"
Apart from still talking to her ex-husband every now and then, Ivana also revealed that Trump took her advice on using Twitter. "I said, 'I think you should tweet. It's a new way, a new technology," she told CBS' Sunday Morning.
Although Ivana and Trump's divorce gave rise to heated fights between the two, they were eventually able to turn amicable. "Donald during the divorce was brutal. He took the divorce as a business deal and he cannot lose, he has to win," Ivana said in her memoir, according to CNN. But once the dust settled, the power couple from the 80s were able to stay "friends."
After Ivana's claims of how she would make a better first lady came out, Melania gave out a statement in response and said that Ivana was giving such interviews to promote the release of her book. Unlike Ivana, Melania's statement said that she was "honored" to be America's first lady and was able to make the White House a proper home for her husband and her son.
"Mrs. Trump has made the White House a home for Barron and the President," a spokesperson said, on behalf of Melania, according to ABC News. "She loves living in Washington, D.C., and is honored by her role as First Lady of the United States."
Calling Ivana "attention-seeking," Melania's statement went on to say that the first lady "plans to use her title and role to help children, not sell books. There is clearly no substance to this statement from an ex. Unfortunately only attention-seeking and self-serving noise."