The Slatest

Melania Trump Says Reporter Who Was Target of Anti-Semitic Attacks “Provoked Them”

Melania Trump attends a celebration rally in New York on April 26 after her husband, Donald Trump, won several primaries.  

Kena Betancur/AFP/Getty Images

Several weeks ago, Julia Ioffe wrote a long profile in GQ of Melania Trump, the woman who might be our next first lady. The Trump campaign, not to mention the Trump family (to the degree that there is any distinction between the two), was not pleased with the piece, and several Trump supporters let Ioffe know it. She was subjected to disgusting anti-Semitic attacks on social media and elsewhere and was even forced to file a police report. (Full disclosure: Ioffe, with whom I worked at the New Republic, is a friend.)

Well, now Melania has given another interview, this time to DuJour, and Ioffe’s story came up. Proving that some people have just the spouse they deserve, Melania said, “I have thick skin. It doesn’t bother me if they write about me because I know who I am. But what right does the reporter have to go and dig in court in Slovenia in 1960 about my parents? They’re private citizens. If they go after me, it’s different. But to do that, it’s a little bit nasty, it’s a little bit mean.” What followed was this exchange between Melania and the writer Mickey Rapkin:

So if people put a swastika on my face once this article comes out, will she denounce them?

“I don’t control my fans,” Melania says, “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.”

So when a reporter is subjected to vile attacks and threats, she herself is to blame. (Poor Nazis: always getting “provoked” into doing things.) There was also this priceless comment in the interview:

“We know the truth. He’s not Hitler. He wants to help America. He wants to unite people. They think he doesn’t but he does. Even with the Muslims, it’s temporary.”

Good, I think we can all agree that Hitler didn’t want to help America. And that Melania, with her mention of “the” Muslims, is picking up her husband’s speaking style, as well as his contempt for the media.