Ivana Trump may have been US president Donald Trump's first wife, but Melania Trump left the world in no doubt Monday that there is only one First Lady of the United States.
In an interview with ABC News to promote her new book – Raising Trump – the 68-year-old Ivana Trump hazarded a little joke, when describing her longstanding relationship with the 45th US president.
"I have the direct number to White House but I don't really want to call him there because Melania is there, and I don't really want to cause any kind of jealousy or something like that because I'm basically first Trump wife, OK? I'm first lady, OK?" she told ABC, with a laugh.
"I think for her to be in Washington must be terrible," said Ivaka of the actual first lady. "It's better her than me. I would hate Washington."
Hating Washington, however, does not preclude her ability to rule it with an iron fist, if she had the inclination, Ivana made sure to note according to The Washington Post.
"Would I straighten up the White House in 14 days? Absolutely. Can I give the speech for 45 minutes without teleprompter? Absolutely. Can I read a contract? Can I negotiate? Can I entertain? Absolutely. But I would not really like to be there. I like my freedom," Ivana said.
Melania Trump, 47, felt it necessary to set the record straight. Firmly.
"Mrs Trump has made the White House a home for Barron and the president," said a tersely-worded statement from her spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham, published by CNN.
"She loves living in Washington, DC, and is honored by her role as first lady of the United States."
"She plans to use her title and role to help children, not sell books," Grisham said while adding, "There is clearly no substance to this statement from an ex, this is unfortunately only attention-seeking and self-serving noise."
Ivana Trump is the mother of Trump's three eldest children, Donald Jr, Ivanka and Eric.
The former real estate magnate has two other children: Tiffany, with his second wife the actress Marla Maples, and 11-year-old Barron – who lives with his parents at the White House.
It was unclear whether the president was aware of the fracas. He was playing golf on Monday with Republican Senator Lindsey Graham.
With inputs from agencies
Updated Date: Oct 10, 2017 10:09 AM