First Lady Melania Trump is often in the headlines of the mainstream media who is quick to take issue with her every move and her attire. But there is one thing they will not be reporting, how much less Melania is spending as Frist Lady compared to Michelle Obama.
Melania is embracing a more active and public schedule as first lady – but she still runs one of the leanest East Wing operations in recent history, Fox News reports.
During then-President Barack Obama’s first year in office, 16 people were listed working for Michelle Obama, earning a combined $1.24 million a year.
This year, just four people were listed working for Melania Trump as of June. Their salaries totaled $486,700.
The details are contained in an annual report the White House sends to Congress showing the names, positions and salaries of all its personnel. Both the Obama and Trump administrations acknowledged several additional staffers beyond those listed in the report with the term “first lady” in their titles. But even counting all those employees — 24 for Michelle Obama and nine for the current first lady — Melania Trump’s office is relatively small.
It’s an approach her spokeswoman says is intentional.“As with all things that she does, she is being very deliberate in her hiring, focusing on quality over quantity,” communications director Stephanie Grisham said in an email. “It is important to her that the team is a good fit for what she wants to accomplish as first lady, and that everyone works well together. She also wants to be mindful and responsible when it comes to taxpayer money.”
While the 2009 annual report listed 16 staffers for Michelle Obama, her press secretary said at the time the staff actually included 24 people. A 2009 FactCheck.org story said Obama’s 24 aides might have broken records.
“That may indeed be the largest of any first lady, but Hillary Clinton, with 19 staffers, and Laura Bush with at least 18 and perhaps more, weren’t far behind,” FactCheck.org said.
The first lady’s office isn’t the only place in the White House where the Trump administration has trimmed staff positions. When the White House personnel report was released in June, Forbes reported 110 fewer employees under Donald Trump than Barack Obama and said the projected four-year savings resulting from the cuts could be more than $22 million.
“She is more like a Pat Nixon or a Bess Truman than a Hillary Clinton or a Michelle Obama,” Andrew Och, a first lady historian who was a producer for the C-SPAN’s “First Ladies: Influence and Image” series, said of Melania Trump.
Melania Trump, he said, does not come from the world of politics and “clearly does not feel the need for the larger staffs that her predecessors have had.”
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