Ivana Trump Wants to Talk Diet, Not Donald

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As Ms. Trump swirled through the Oak Room, she did not mention Michelle Obama, who, as first lady, took up the battle against childhood obesity. And when she was asked a question that mentioned Melania Trump, the president’s third and current wife, she expanded on what she had said earlier in the evening.

“I am not going to talk politics and White House or about my ex or first lady,” she said. “I am first Trump lady, that I can say.”

Mr. Mech said they had met in Italy — Ms. Trump was a friend of a friend. She had no reason to try the Italiano Diet, he said. “She’s thin.”

But one night he served Italiano Diet products at a restaurant, in what sounded like one of those commercials where the real coffee had been replaced by instant. “Ivana was eating my product, and another friend asked if you are on the diet of Gianluca,” he recalled. “She answered, ‘Why?’ Ivana was surprised: ‘This is very tasty.’ I sent her some food in New York.”

He said his diet products were made in Italy now, but added, “We are studying how to produce in America.”

“This is a very good moment to invest in the United States because the United States cuts taxes,” he said.

He said he was not referring to the tax bill that the president signed last December, which cut taxes for corporations. (It also lowered individual rates, but those reductions are scheduled to end in 2025.) He added that he and Ms. Trump had not discussed the tax bill.

“No, no talk about that,” he said. “I just consider, in Italy, we pay 55 percent in taxes. Here, you pay much less.”