Trump’s ex: In a way, I’m “first lady.” Melania: The hell you are.

To cleanse the palate, in any other administration the president’s ex-wife and current wife sniping at each other in public would be a big story. In “The Apprentice: White House,” it’s just a quirky offbeat episode between the “POTUS threatens to nuke North Korea” storyline and the coming “POTUS threatens to nuke Iran” storyline.

Ivanka could put an end to this unseemly squabbling by saying what everyone understands to be true, that she’s the de facto First Lady of the United States. Just like Jared is the de facto president.

Ivana Trump said she speaks to her former husband about once every two weeks, and she has a “direct number” to the White House.

“I [don’t] really want to call him there, because Melania is there,” she said, referring to first lady Melania Trump. “And 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.”

The “first lady” thing is a harmless joke about having been Trump’s first wife. The bit about jealousy is more cutting but still something that FLOTUS could have and should have shrugged off. She’s in the White House, she’s impossibly gorgeous and rich — let it go.

But no. Entertainment requires drama, and there can be no drama without conflict:

“Mrs. Trump has made the White House a home for Barron and The President,” the first lady’s spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham said in a statement. “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. There is clearly no substance to this statement from an ex. Unfortunately only attention seeking and self-serving noise.”

Serious question: Did Trump’s office nudge her to say that? POTUS reportedly dictated Don Jr’s first statement about meeting the Russian lawyer last year, remember, so he’s not above micromanaging family members’ PR. The “punch back at any slight, even when it prolongs a bad story” ethos seen here is far more Donald than it is Melania. We’ll know once he begins tweeting unflattering remarks about Ivana’s plastic surgery from the presidential Twitter account.

Next week on “The Apprentice: White House”: Long-lost cousin Mikey shows up at the West Wing needing a place to crash and John Kelly is forced to take him in. Can this odd couple manage to get along under the same roof?

This post originally appeared on Hot Air

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