Melania Trump said a journalist barraged with anti-Semitic death threats had “provoked” Trump supporters by writing a controversial profile of her.
“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,” Melania told DuJour magazine.
Julia Ioffe filed a police report last month when Donald Trump supporters flooded her with neo-Nazi death threats following the publication of her profile of Melania.
Trump backers sent Ioffe, who is Jewish, images showing her face superimposed onto that of an Auschwitz prisoner and a cartoon of a Jew being shot in the head.
Melania criticized Ioffe’s article, which included information about the Slovenian former model’s half brother, saying the journalist “had an agenda when going after my family.” Ioffe denied the profile contained any untrue information.
Donald Trump also refused to condemn the anti-Semitic supporters. “I don’t have a message to the fans, a woman wrote an article that was inaccurate,” he said, adding that he had not read the profile but had heard it was “nasty.”
Prominent anti-Semites, including former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke have endorsed the presumptive Republican nominee. Although Trump initially refused to disavow white supremacist groups, he denounced Duke earlier this month, after Duke wrote that Jewish opposition to Trump is what’s keeping America from the greatness the Republican candidate promises in his campaign slogan.
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Josefin Dolsten is a former news fellow at the Forward, writing about politics and culture, and editing the Sisterhood blog. She received an MA in Jewish Studies and Comparative Religion from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and a BA in Government from Cornell University. Follow her on Twitter at @josefindolsten.