From TV news to employee break rooms all across America, the nation is rife with discussion over Melania Trump’s nude photos, which were recently leaked to the New York Post and published in all their barely-censored glory in the paper’s Sunday edition.
Now, some people have formulated a theory that Donald Trump himself allowed the leak of the photos to take place, as a way to detract from his feud with Khizr and Ghazala Khan.
As most people of heard by now, the pictures of Mrs. Trump were taken in Manhattan in 1995. The photographer was a French ex-convict named Alé de Basseville. The photos were taken shortly after she arrived in the United States. In 1996, the photos appeared in the January issue of a now-defunct men’s magazine.
Donald made a strong effort to underplay the photos, and his campaign has made a show of being unbothered by the incident. Many people have rallied behind Melania in the wake of the incident.
— VH1 (@VH1) August 1, 2016
“Melania was one of the most successful models and she did many photo shoots, including for covers and major magazines. This was a picture taken for a European magazine prior to my knowing Melania. In Europe, pictures like this are very fashionable and common,” the Republican presidential candidate said. “They’re a celebration of the human body as art.”
A spokesperson for Trump’s campaign, Jason Miller, appeared on CNN on Sunday and alluded to reporters that the photos were very artistic and tastefully done.
He also said, “There’s nothing to be embarrassed about. She’s a beautiful woman.”
Obviously, most voters recognize that Melania Trump would be unlike any first lady we’ve ever had in history, but that’s not what has many people scratching their heads today. No, the thing that has people wondering is if this series of news photos have in fact existed since 1995, why have they just surfaced? And why would they surface in a largely conservative newspaper that actually endorsed Donald Trump in April?
— Fortune (@FortuneMagazine) August 1, 2016
Trump certainly made it a point to tell voters that the photos were “taken for a European magazine prior to my knowing Melania.” However, according to Gawker, theorists have interpreted the photo as a well-thought-out plan on the part of the Trump campaign. Purportedly, Trump and his staff were aware of the photos and the upcoming leak but actually encouraged the photographer to leak the photos to the New York Post in an effort to divert attention from the Khan situation. Because the post is a friendly outlet for Trump’s campaign, the speculation is that the newspaper would cooperate with the campaign’s tactic.
It seems understandable that the Trump campaign would want to create a diversion from the feud with the Khan family, as such a situation is volatile at any time, but especially during an election year. That’s why so many people consider the theory to hold water. On the other side of the coin stands a group of people who have noted that Melania has been Team Trump’s accidental saboteur more than once in recent weeks. After bouncing back from the plagiarized speech incident, in the wake of which her speech writer finally confirmed that she had plagiarized Michelle Obama, the last thing our potential future first lady needs is another scandal.
— Shaw (@lluciz) July 21, 2016
So, as the battle for the presidency wages on, Melania’s status as a former model is making waves in the Republican Party once again. For the most part, Mrs. Trump herself has remained silent. And, in response to the nude photo incident, Mr. Trump has had far less to say than usual, which is exactly why some people think it was all part of his master plan. For a man who usually has lots to say about everything, this situation hasn’t garnered much of his attention.
Did the Trump campaign leak the photos on purpose? You decide.
[Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images]