DONALD Trump's ex-wife has claimed to have an active presence in the US President's life, including a direct line to the White House.

Speaking on Good Morning America, Ivana Trump said she had a "direct number" to the White House and talked to Mr Trump about once every two weeks, although she said she was wary of antagonising the President's wife, Melania.

"I don't want to cause any kind of jealousy or something like that, because I'm basically first Trump wife. Okay? I'm first lady," Ivana Trump said, also suggesting that Melania Trump would chafe at the "horrible" responsibility of living in Washington.

That prompted a scathing rebuttal from Melania Trump, whose spokeswoman said the first lady loved living in Washington and was "honoured" by the role.

"There is clearly no substance to this statement from an ex. Unfortunately only attention seeking and self-serving noise", the statement said.

The White House did not respond to a question about whether Ivana Trump has access to a direct phone line.

The President is on his third wife. His marriage to Ivana - the mother of Ivanka, Donald Jnr and Eric, all of whom have functioned as key advisers to the President - dissolved amid his affair with Marla Maples that became a staple of New York tabloids and fueled a contentious divorce.

"During the divorce was brutal", Ivana Trump said.

"He took the divorce as a business deal and he cannot lose. He has to win."

- Jeremy B White, The Independent