Last week, Jewish journalist Julia Ioffe filed a police report after receiving an avalanche of anti-Semitic harassment from Donald Trump supporters, following a profile she published of Trump’s wife, Melania, in GQ magazine. Among other threats, Ioffe received calls to her personal number from homicide scene clean-up companies, coffin makers, and others that played recordings of speeches by Adolf Hitler.
Today, Melania Trump spoke out for the first time about the episode—and blamed it on the reporter herself. In an interview with Du Jour magazine, the aspiring First Lady was asked by writer Mickey Rapkin about Ioffe’s profile:
I can’t help but wonder what kind of hate speech her supporters might unleash on me for asking a few pointed questions. A GQ reporter who dug into her family’s past—turning up the existence of a secret 50-year-old half-brother in her native Slovenia whom her father has never acknowledged—was subjected to anti-Semitic threats online. Of the GQ article, Melania says: “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.” 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.”
Memo to Melania: You know who else blamed the Jews for provoking the Nazis into attacking them? The Nazis.
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Yair Rosenberg is a senior writer at Tablet. Subscribe to his newsletter, listen to his music, and follow him on Twitter and Facebook.