Melania Trump, the generally inscrutable but increasingly visible wife of presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump, offered a peek into her life at Trump Tower and relationship with her polarizing husband in an interview with DuJour magazine published Tuesday.
The cover story comes on the heels of a GQ article that she dubbed “another example of the dishonest media and their disingenuous reporting.” At the time, Trump singled out the author of that profile, Julia Ioffe, adding that “There are numerous inaccuracies in this article including certain statements about my family and claims on personal matters.”
As a result of the criticism, Ioffe said she was the target of anti-Semitic attacks, including calls to her personal number by homicide scene cleanup companies and coffin makers.
In the new interview, Trump distanced herself from the backlash. “I don’t control my fans," she told DuJour, “but I don’t agree what they’re doing … there are people out there who maybe went too far.” Trump then added, however, that Ioffe “provoked them.”
Here are a few other takeaways from the latest interview with Melania Trump.
‘He’s not Hitler’
Turns out that Trump isn’t familiar with the comedian Louis C.K., who has compared her husband to Adolf Hitler.
“When I mention that the comedian Louis C.K. flat out compared Trump to Hitler, Melania stares blankly back at me,” author Mickey Rapkin wrote.
Trump admitted she didn’t know the celebrity, but disputed the comparison.
“We know the truth. He’s not Hitler,” she insisted. “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.”
She later admitted: “Maybe he needs to say it in a softer way.”
A not-so-traditional first lady?
Then known as Melania Knauss, she dated Donald Trump in 1999, when he was considering running for president on a Reform Party ticket. Asked at the time by a reporter what kind of first lady she would be, she responded, “I would be very traditional, like Betty Ford or Jackie Kennedy.”
In Tuesday’s interview, she amended that description. “I want to make clear,” she told DuJour, “in 1999, when they asked what kind of first lady I would be, it was out there that I’d be traditional, a Jackie Kennedy or Betty Ford. But that was 1999. A lot has changed.”
What it’s like to grow up as Barron Trump
Trump’s home in Trump Tower is a lavish, gilded “floating Versailles,” which comes as no surprise. There are high ceilings and vast views of Central Park, sure. But two details stand out.
“At the end of the room stands a kiddie-size Mercedes-Benz, which 10-year-old Barron Trump has long-since outgrown,” Rapkin writes. “And while the apartment might be gaudy, one barely notices the marble fountain in the corner.”
Later in the interview, Melania Trump talks about staying with her husband at a chain motel while on the campaign trail, where five-star hotels are not always available. “I like beautiful stuff,” she conceded. “I live the life.”