Melania Trump's website: Nothing to see here, says Donald Trump's wife

Philip Bump
Friday 29 July 2016 09:55 BST
Melania Trump, 46, met Donald Trump when she was a model
Melania Trump, 46, met Donald Trump when she was a model (Reuters)

For those not paying attention to the minutiae of the campaign, this tweet from Melania Trump was probably a bit baffling.

"The website in question was created in 2012 and has been removed because it does not accurately reflect my current business and professional interests," it reads -- though as an image and not an actual tweet, since it's 11 characters too long. ("The website in question is from 2012 and has been removed bc it does not accurately reflect my current business and professional interests" works, FYI.)

So, that's fine, but: What website?, a site which once hosted information about Trump's beauty products, jewelry line and life story. It was up earlier this week, but now simply flips over to the more generic because, Trump says, it didn't reflect her current business and professional interests.

Or, it seems, her accurate biographical information. The Huffington Post, which broke the story of the website's removal on Wednesday night includes a snippet of text from Trump's bio as it appeared on the site.

"Born on April 26, 1970 in Slovenia," it reads, "Melania Knauss began her modeling career at the age of sixteen. At the age of eighteen, she signed with a modeling agency in Milan. After obtaining a degree in design and architecture at University in Slovenia, Melania was jetting between photo shoots in Paris and Milan, finally settling in New York in 1996."

That language has been consistent since at least 2006, according to archives of the site captured by the Internet Archive.

The problem is in the last sentence. Trump attended college in her home country, at the University of Ljubljana. According to a biography of Trump written by journalists in her home country obtained by the Huffington Post, Trump only attended one year of school. The description of Trump as having nonetheless graduated, the authors write, was a function of Donald Trump's public relations efforts, since Trump was eager to "give off the impression that the Slovenian model was not just beautiful, but also smart and well-educated." That last claim is hard to verify.

The Post's fact-checkers looked at this last week. They cite an interview with GQ, in which it is reported that "Melania decamped to Milan after her first year of college, effectively dropping out."

The timing of the removal of Trump's website makes it hard to believe that there's no connection between it and the questions about her background. It caps off a rough month for Trump, following the revelation that her speech endorsing her husband's candidacy were lifted from Michelle Obama's similar speech in 2008.

More broadly, it is another example of a disconnect between stated claims from a Trump and reality. There are any number of examples, ranging from estimates of Trump's net worth to his policy arguments. On that scale, this is minor.

As of writing, Melania Trump's website has not been updated to reflect her current professional interests.

Copyright: Washington Post

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