Melania Trump says husband Donald is ‘not Hitler’

Wife of presumptive GOP candidate says Jewish journalist’s profile of her ‘provoked’ anti-Semitic attacks by supporters

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump listens to his wife Melania Trump speak to supporters at a campaign stop on April 4, 2016 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Darren Hauck/Getty Images/AFP)
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump listens to his wife Melania Trump speak to supporters at a campaign stop on April 4, 2016 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Darren Hauck/Getty Images/AFP)

WASHINGTON — The usually press-shy Melania Trump defended her husband’s US presidential bid by insisting he bears no comparison to Adolf Hitler.

In an interview with Du Jour magazine published Tuesday, the former model was asked to respond to comedian Louis C.K.’s letter to fans in March saying Donald Trump’s call to temporarily ban all Muslim entry into the United States was something akin to the policies of Nazi Germany’s leader.

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

That said, she did admit her billionaire husband — who is now the Republican Party’s presumptive presidential nominee — could change the way he expresses his ideas on the trail.

“Maybe he needs to say it in a softer way,” she conceded. “He doesn’t go after religions. He feels like we need to know who’s coming to this country. If not, we don’t have a country. That’s how he feels. We see how he is, and he wants to unite the country and bring people together and bring jobs back.”

Since former rivals Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Ohio Gov. John Kasich suspended their campaigns and paved Trump’s path to the nomination, the billionaire candidate has attempted to walk back his controversial campaign pledge, telling Fox News last week his proposed ban was “just a suggestion.”

This latest interview comes shortly after the last magazine profile of Ms. Trump resulted in its Jewish author receiving a barrage of anti-Semitic harassment, which Trump insisted was “provoked” by the reporter, Julia Ioffe, late last month.

“I don’t control my fans,” Trump told Du Jour reporter, Mickey Rapkin, who asked: “If people put a swastika on my face once this article comes out, will [you] denounce them?”

“I don’t agree with what they’re doing,” Trump said. “I understand what you mean, but there are people out there who maybe went too far. She provoked them.”

Ioffe became the subject of a torrent of derogatory insults and threats through social media, emails and phone calls after the GQ piece was published on April 28. “I’m getting phone calls from a blocked number that play Hitler’s speeches when I pick up,” she tweeted.

Ioffe said the hatred she had experienced since her piece was published reminded her of racism her family experienced in Russia before it immigrated to the US 26 years ago, and ended up filing a a report with the DC Police Department.

After the GQ article, Trump took to her Facebook account to call the article “another example of the dishonest media and their disingenuous reporting” and charged “there are numerous inaccuracies in this article including certain statements about my family and claims on personal matters.”

Her husband also refused to urge his followers to abjure such attacks once the piece was out.

“I don’t have a message for my fans,” he told CNN, and “I’d like to see my family treated fairly and nicely.”

Talking to Du Jour, Melania Trump remained critical of the GQ piece.

“I have thick skin,” she said. “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.”

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