In a long interview with GQ reporter Julia Ioffe, Donald Trump’s wife Melania Trump defended her husband against a comparison between him and Adolf Hitler, argued that his campaign is about uniting the country, and a profile on her family history.
In the article Ioffe also reported that Melania has a 50-year-old half-brother, Denis Cigelnjak, whom her father has never acknowledged but who a blood test proved is his biological son.
Once the article was released, Melania wrote a Facebook post which was highly critical of Ioffe, who wrote the piece. In the post Melania engaged in the same tactics as her husband, bashing the press, claiming that there were “numerous inaccuracies” in the story about her family, but didn’t go into detail.
The article published in GQ today is yet another example of the dishonest media and their disingenuous reporting. Julia Ioffe, a journalist who is looking to make a name for herself, clearly had an agenda when going after my family.
Shortly after publishing the GQ article, Ioffe was barraged with threatening phone calls, emails, and Twitter messages. She documented many of them on Twitter, noting that she’d faced this kind of harassment before only when working as a journalist in Russia.
From my inbox. Subject line: "They know about you!" pic.twitter.com/zp3v2GjTeI
— Julia Ioffe (@juliaioffe) April 28, 2016
When asked about the backlash Ioffe had gotten for uncovering her family history, Melania said:
I don’t control my fans, but I don’t agree with what they’re doing. I understand what you mean, but there are people out there who maybe went too far. She provoked them.
Nothing Melania Trump originally said in the GQ article or the Facebook post called upon Ioffe’s Jewish heritage. It was the Trump supporters who used Ioffe’s background when directing their threats towards her. What was troubling was Melania’s nonsensical response that somehow it was Ioffe herself who provoked the anti-semitic attacks.
On one hand Melania said she didn’t agree with the anti-semitic attacks against the reporter who profiled her, then on the other hand she didn’t tell her fans to stop and placed the blame squarely on the victim.
However we can empathize with Melania Trump how she might be upset how politics brings one’s family into the public sphere. For example it must be difficult for a politician to be on the receiving end of:
- Donald Trump tweeting that you like “Mexican illegals” because of your wife.
- Donald Trump spreading conspiracy theories about your Kenyan father.
- Donald Trump spreading lies spread about your own grandmother.
- Donald Trump directing threats to your own wife saying he will “spill the beans” on her.
- Donald Trump tweeting an image comparing his wife to an unflattering image of yours.
- Donald Trump spreading false conspiracy theories about your father assisting Lee Harvey Oswald to assassinate President John F. Kennedy.