Melania Trump’s GQ interview displeased her, so she did what any presidential candidate’s wife would do: She publicly blasted the writer on Facebook.
The April 27 GQ article by Julia Ioffe included what appeared to be a phone interview with Mrs. Trump.
“We’re speaking on the phone, though I have no idea where she’s calling from,” wrote Ioffe. “Is she in her penthouse, a gilded triplex in the Trump Tower? Perhaps somewhere out on the campaign trail?”
Ms. Ioffe details the Trump lifestyle. It started with wearing the “$100,000 Dior dress that laborers’ hands had toiled upon for a legendary 550 hours, affixing 1,500 crystals.” Much is made in the article of the Trumps’ “conspicuous conspicuousness.” Also at issue was the mention of a previously unpublicized half-brother.
“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. There are numerous inaccuracies in this article including certain statements about my family and claims on personal matters. My parents are private citizens and should not be subject to Ms. Ioffe’s unfair scrutiny,” she wrote.
The contentious Melania Trump GQ interview is nothing new. Candidates’ wives have been targets since the beginning. A New York Post piece tells of Federalist candidate Charles C. Pinckney claiming that James Madison pimped his wife, Dolly, out to incumbent President Thomas Jefferson in return for Jefferson’s endorsement. Andrew Jackson’s wife, Rachel, was accused of bigamy. They arguably suffered through worse than an unflattering magazine article.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 24, 2016
Donald Trump has fired shots of his own in Melania’s defense. Ioffe reminds her readers of the Trump vs. Cruz wife picture swap. Before the Utah primary, Ted Cruz posted a 2000 British GQ snapshot of Melania lying naked on a bearskin rug. The ad caption read, “Meet Melania Trump. Your next First Lady. Or, you could support Ted Cruz on Tuesday.” The Donald fired back, Tweeting a terrible shot of Cruz’s wife, Heidi, beside the ex-model Melania. The real message Trump wanted to send, says Ioffe, was “My wife is hotter.”
Ioffe’s Melania Trump GQ interview has spawned a good deal of ugliness. She claims that the article is “not heavily critical,” though Mrs. Trump clearly disagrees. Since the article’s publication and Trump’s Facebook post, however, Ioffe has been the victim of personal, anti-Semitic attacks. Within 24 hours, Ioffe answered an anonymous phone call that only played a recording of a Hitler speech. Twitter users posted a picture of an Auschwitz mug shot with her picture Photoshopped onto it.
“Like night follows day,” says USA Today, “the authors of articles that displease Donald Trump supporters face vicious attacks.”
— Julia Ioffe (@juliaioffe) April 28, 2016
As her Melania Trump GQ interview scratches the surface of the Trump campaign, a disturbing picture emerges. Violence and intolerance swirl around the Trump rallies. Though Trump himself is never linked directly to the violence of his supporters, the Guardian points out that he encourages retaliation against protesters. He also once offered to pay legal fees for one of his more physical supporters. Trump also didn’t immediately disavow former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke when the ex-Wizard threw his support behind the candidate. Ioffe questions the direction a Trump presidency would send the country into.
“What happens if Donald Trump is elected?”
A renowned and respected liberal journalist well before her Melania Trump GQ interview, Ioffe took the early attacks with a grain of humorous salt, but that ended as the first day wore on.
“The irony of this is that today,” Ioffe said, “when I was getting all of this horrible antisemitic s–t that I’ve only ever seen in Russia, I was reminded that 26 years ago today my family came to the U.S. from Russia. We left Russia because we were fleeing antisemitism. It’s been a rude shock for everyone.”
Do you think the Melania Trump GQ interview was “dishonest”?
[Photo by Julie Jacobson/AP Images]