Before the “Access Hollywood” tape surfaced, Melania Trump was virtually invisible in the campaign, save for her plagiarized convention speech and her silent attendance at debates. On Monday night, we found out why that may have been a wise idea.
In an interview with Anderson Cooper, she unintentionally — or not — punctured Donald Trump’s image as a tough guy and undercut his attempts to smear Hillary Clinton as an enabler of her husband’s sexual escapades.
Melania Trump went after Donald Trump’s accusers — just as the right has alleged Hillary Clinton did with Bill Clinton’s accusers: “This was all organized from the opposition. And with the details … Did they ever check the background of these women?” Sounding like her husband, she falsely insisted, “They don’t have any facts.” (Well, other than their accounts, the people they told about the incidents and her husband’s own description of his behavior.) She specifically attacked former People magazine reporter Natasha Stoynoff, accusing her of making up a brief encounter with Melania Trump on the street after Stoynoff allegedly was attacked by Donald Trump. It was peculiar, however, that she used some straw-man logic: “I was not friends with her, I would not recognize her.” (That doesn’t mean Stoynoff didn’t approach her.) Is she out to “destroy” these women, as Donald Trump claimed Hillary Clinton was when she portrayed her husband as a victim of a “vast right-wing conspiracy”?
Even worse, Melania Trump sounded like an apologist and enabler of Donald Trump’s alleged predatory behavior — and made him sound like a weak child. She claimed that Billy Bush had “egged” her husband on to talk “dirty.” (If he cannot resist Billy Bush, imagine him up against Vladimir Putin!) She insisted her husband was merely engaged in “boy talk.” Cooper deadpanned, “He was 59.” She offered that at times she felt as though she had two “boys” at home — her son and her husband. (Well, there’s the sort of fellow — an adolescent with impulse-control issues — you want in the Oval Office, huh?) When Cooper asked whether her husband tweeted too much, however, Melania Trump said she tries to tell him not to, but after all, he’s “an adult.” (Er, didn’t she just say … ? Oh, never mind.)
Then, to top it off, Melania Trump declared that as first lady she would focus on the “negativity” in social media (!). “I see now in 21st century, the social media, it’s very damaging for the children,” she said. “We need to guide them and teach them about social media, because I see a lot of negativity on it, and we need to help them.” Maybe she could take away Donald Trump’s phone, which he uses to tweet insults at critics and retweet white nationalists’ messages. Was this a sly dig at her husband? Unlikely. Just like her husband, from her gold-encrusted residence high above the streets of Manhattan she demonstrates not an ounce of self-awareness. In proclaiming that we need not feel sorry for her (Did we?), Melania Trump obviously hints we should do precisely that. No, thanks.
To sum up: Trump is a child except when he’s an adult on Twitter. It’s fine for Melania Trump to attack her husband’s accusers but not for Hillary Clinton to have done the same with Bill’s. Twitter is filled with negativity — a phenomenon that might be somewhat improved, if only her husband stopped insulting and attacking people. Got that?
Once again, the Trump campaign has managed to obliterate any coverage of Clinton’s emails with the Trumps’ jaw-dropping display of entitlement, arrogance and utter cluelessness. In that respect, Donald and Melania Trump are a perfect match.