In the recordings, which were released hours before news broke that the first lady and the president tested positive for COVID-19, she's heard expressing frustrations over some of her White House duties as well as her perception in the media.
The tapes have drawn a lot of social media reactions, both positive and negative, and there are still lingering questions about the profanity-laced audio recordings.
Here's everything to know about the secret recordings:
Who released the recordings?
The tapes were brought to light by Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, the author of the tell-all "Melania and Me." Wolkoff secretly recorded conversations with Melania Trump in the summer of 2018 after Wolkoff left her role as an adviser, CNN reported Thursday night.
In a statement to USA TODAY in August, Stephanie Grisham, the first lady's chief of staff and spokesperson, commented on the book.
“This book is not only wildly self-aggrandizing, it’s just not truthful,” Grisham told USA TODAY in an email. “It is an exercise in bizarre twisting of the truth and misguided blame for the sake of self-pity. It’s unfortunate and concerning that she’s overstated their friendship and her very brief role in the White House to this degree.”
Are the recordings legal?
According to the Digital Media Law Project, Washington, D.C. is a one-party consent state, meaning only one person needs to be aware of the recording for it to be legal. So, if the conversation happened in the capital where Melania lives, it was likely legal. Similarly, New York, where Trump and Wolkoff became friends, is a one-party consent state.
In a statement to CNN, Grisham blasted Wolkoff for releasing the recordings, citing a non-disclosure agreement.
"Secretly taping the First Lady and willfully breaking an NDA to publish a salacious book is a clear attempt at relevance. The timing of this continues to be suspect - as does this never-ending exercise in self-pity and narcissism," the statement read.
USA TODAY has reached out the book's publisher for comment.
What has Melania Trump said about the tapes?
Melania, who is currently quarantining after she and President Donald Trump tested positive for COVID-19, has not made a statement herself.
Grisham, however, responded to the release of the recordings by questioning whether they were edited.
"Her only intent was to secretly tape the First Lady in order to peddle herself and her salacious book," the statement said. "There is no way to know if these recordings have been edited and it’s clear the clips were hand-picked and presented with no context. The First Lady remains focused on her family and serving our country."
What did Melania say on the tapes?
The recordings show the first lady expressing frustration over some of her White House tasks and the media's coverage of her.
On her media perception
"They say I'm complicit, I'm the same like him, I support him, I don't say enough. I don't do enough..." Melania Trump says.
On her Christmas duties
"I'm working my a-- off with the Christmas stuff that, you know, who gives a f--- about Christmas stuff and decorations but I need to do it, right?" Melania Trump is heard saying.
She continues, "And then I do it, and I say I'm working on Christmas and planning for Christmas. And they say, 'What about the children that are separated?' "
On the administration's stance on children separated from their parents at the border
"They say, 'What about the children that are separated?' Give me a f---ing break," she says. "I was trying to get the kid reunited with the mom. I didn't have a chance. It needs to go through the process and the law."
When the first lady went to visit children in a migrant center in Texas in 2018, she drew backlash for wearing a green jacket with the words "I really don't care, do u?" on the back.
When asked by Wolkoff on the recordings why she bought the jacket, the first lady responded, "I'm driving liberals crazy, that's for sure... and they deserve it."
How are people reacting to the tapes?
People on social media reacted swiftly to the recordings, with tweets ranging from jokes to support.
The Twitter account for "The Daily Show" was quick to relate the tapes to a major moment from Tuesday night's debate.
"Look, all we’re saying is that we want the president to denounce White Supremacists as forcefully as Melania denounces Christmas," the show, hosted by Trevor Noah, tweeted.
Conservative commentator Ian Miles Cheong lambasted the recordings.
"First of all, the person who recorded her private conversations with Melania Trump is a two faced creep. Who does that? More importantly, it shows that Melania wanted to help kids more than decorate for Christmas. I don’t see how this makes her look bad," he tweeted.