Melania Trump says anti-Semitic attacks on Jewish reporter were ‘provoked’

(JTA) – Melania Trump said critics who deluged a reporter with anti-Semitic abuse went too far, but also said the reporter “provoked” the onslaught with her critical profile of the presumptive Republican presidential nominee’s wife.

“I don’t control my fans,” Melania Trump told DuJour, a lifestyle magazine in an article posted Tuesday, “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 Trump was asked about the anti-Semitic abuse received by Julia Ioffe, a reporter who wrote a critical profile of the former model for GQ. Ioffe, who is Jewish, has been flooded with death threats and anti-Semitic rhetoric via email, phone calls and on social media. She has filed a police complaint because of the threats.

Melania Trump had said soon after the GQ article was posted that it was “inaccurate” and that Ioffe had invaded her privacy by uncovering a half-brother born out of wedlock before her parents married.

Donald Trump, the real estate magnate who has effectively secured the Republican nomination, said two weeks ago he has “no message” for what he termed as his “fans” who had attacked Ioffe.

In the same DuJour article, Melania Trump defended her husband from those who accuse him of having fascist tendencies stemming from his broadsides against Muslims and Hispanics. The reporter noted that the comedian Louis C.K. had compared Trump to Adolf Hitler in his call for a temporary ban on Muslims entering the United States.

“We know the truth. He’s not Hitler,” she said. “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.”

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