The Trump marriage: A Housewife of New York and The Bachelor - Macleans.ca
 

The Trump marriage: A Housewife of New York and The Bachelor

Melania’s lawsuit paints the U.S. presidency as, at best, a branding opportunity


 

This week the world got a glimpse of how Melania Trump envisions—or once envisioned—life as first lady of the U.S.: as a potential financial jackpot. This insight was delivered via a $150-million defamation suit filed Monday in New York Supreme court. The action was part of the former model’s ongoing legal battle against the Daily Mail, which last August claimed she was once “an elite escort” in “the sex business.” (The paper has issued a retraction.)

In the statement of claim, Melania Trump’s lawyers actually argue the alleged libel robbed the new first lady of a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity” to cash in on her husband’s presidency. It charges Melania Trump was denied the opportunity “to launch a broad-based commercial brand in multiple product categories, each of which could have garnered multi-million dollar business relationships for a multi-year term during which the plaintiff is one of the most photographed women in the world.” These “product categories” included “apparel, accessories, shoes, jewelry, cosmetics, hair care, skin care and fragrance.”

On Tuesday, with the 180-degree whiplash now associated with Trump statements, Melania Trump’s spokeswoman and a law firm representing her both issued another statement: the first lady “has no intention” of using her public position for personal gain, it said. “Any statements to the contrary are being misinterpreted.” Richard Painter, a professor of legal ethics who is also part of a lawsuit launched against Trump for business conflicts of interest, is having none of it. As drafted, the suit “would appear to be an abuse of public office for private gain” by the Trumps, he told the Washington Post.

It isn’t the first sign that Melania Trump, like her husband, views the White House as a branding  platform. Initially, her bio on WhiteHouse.gov plugged her jewelry line: “In April 2010, Melania Trump launched her own jewelry collection, ‘Melania™ Timepieces & Jewelry,’ on QVC.” After protest, the reference was dialed back (the health of her business is now a question mark; QVC online has no mention of it). Trump’s presidency appears to have burnished his own brand and business prospects—the U.S. military is now looking to rent space in Trump Tower—while backlash and boycotts hurt Ivanka Trump’s brand. Last week her clothing line line was dropped by Nordstrom, and Neiman Marcus stopped selling her high-end jewelry online.

Political wives have long served as brand extensions of their husbands, figuratively speaking. They’re marshalled as moderating, humanizing, even civilizing influences; this we saw when Melania Trump was summoned for a CNN interview to try to deflect her husband’s “grab them by the p—y” boast. Her new lawsuit suggests she’s a Trump brand extension, literally. Little surprise there. We’re watching a U.S. presidential marriage that appears to take its script from reality TV: a Real Housewife of New York first lady and president as The Bachelor, alone at the White House without civilizing domestic ballast. No roses are being handed out in the Rose Garden.

Attempting to monetize the unpaid first lady role is only one way Melania Trump has disrupted presidential spousal tradition. After adopting a low profile during the campaign, she has remained in New York City, cloistered in Trump Tower, ostensibly so as not to interrupt 10-year-old Barron Trump’s schooling. Response has been polarized: outrage over taxpayers having to pay for extra security; empathy for the decision to keep young Barron out of the spotlight, especially after vicious taunts by comedians and on social media. Melania has also been congratulated for eschewing archaic first-lady tradition.

Her absence is not without political impact. A joyless, lifeless Trump White House that is all about executive orders stands in stark relief from the White House occupied by the Obamas. That’s not to say the Trump family’s presence would make the place happier. During the inauguration, Trump’s boorish behaviour toward his wife, and her evident distress, was seen by all. In an interview with ABC News in January, the president was asked whether or not having his wife or son around made him lonely. “No,” he said, “because I end up working longer. And that’s okay.”

Early accounts of Trump’s private time at the White House recall the reclusive eccentric, Howard Hughes. Trump recently told Bill O’Reilly he typically works until midnight or 1 a.m. and gets four or five hours of sleep. According to the New York Times, Trump is “almost always by himself” or with aide and former security chief Keith Schiller. His routine is limited: “When he is not watching television in his bathrobe or on his phone reaching out to old campaign hands and advisers, he will sometimes set off to explore the unfamiliar surroundings of his new home.” (The Trump camp has vociferously denied reports the president owns a bathrobe.)

When, or even if, Melania will move to Washington is a guessing game. Reports suggest she is quietly hiring staff. But present or absent, the first lady sets the administration’s public tone, be it Jackie Kennedy with her White House renovation and perpetuating the Camelot myth, or Michelle Obama with her organic garden and advocacy for children’s health.

During the campaign, Melania Trump pledged to address bullying, an irony lost on no one. It’s a promise repeated on her WhiteHouse.gov bio: “Mrs. Trump cares deeply about issues impacting women and children, and she has focused her platform as First Lady on the problem of cyber bullying among our youth.” A recent investigation by Mother Jones, however, reported the first lady has yet to contact any major anti-cyber-bullying organizations. Taking on the cause is politically risky. LGBTQ youth are disproportionately affected by bullying. Addressing that stands to alienate Trump’s Religious Right base.

Since her husband became president, Melania Trump, ironically, is no longer “one of the most photographed women in the world,” as the lawsuit states. She surfaced for the first time at her husband’s side last weekend at Mar-a-Lago, Trump’s Palm Beach resort and club, which, post-inauguration, jacked its membership entry fee from $100,000 to $200,000. The couple attended a fundraising ball thrown by the Red Cross, an organization that aids the very people affected by Trump’s travel ban.

Now Mrs. Trump can be seen as a proxy for her husband in going after the media (she also successfully sued a blogger) for spreading alleged falsehoods. If she was in fact maligned, the outlet should be held accountable. Whether the suit should compensate for “a once in a lifetime opportunity” lost by an opportunistic first lady is another question. Either way, you have to wonder whether the claim that the alleged libel “impugned her fitness to perform her duties” serves another purpose: as an out from a job Melania Trump doesn’t want and never signed on for.


 

The Trump marriage: A Housewife of New York and The Bachelor

  1. Trump can’t read…and I doubt she’s any help.

    • During a lull between the speeches at a recent White House dinner, Melania Trump leans over to chat with Defence Secretary James Mattis.
      “I bought Donald a parrot.The bird is so smart, Donald has already taught him to pronounce over two hundred words!”
      “Wow, that’s impressive,” says Mattis, “but, you do realize that he just speaks the words… He doesn’t really understand what they mean.”
      “Oh, I know,” Melania replies. “Neither does the parrot.”

      • LOL Beauty!

      • That’s an old Trudeau joke!!

        • Stay at home mom Kelly Richards from New York after resigning from her full time job managed to average from $6000-$8000 a month from freelancing at home… This is how she done
          lllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllljljljljljjljljljljljljljljljlj
          !!!!!!!!!!!!! http://CenterPay70.com

        • Canadians should be careful of judging and or poking fun at the Trumps as we have our own comedy team in charge of our Country.The Trudeaus are not shining examples for our young people.

  2. I think when Melania agreed to become the third Mrs. Trump, she not only expected there to be a fourth, she was hoping for it. A fat divorce settlement with half her life still ahead of her seemed like a fair trade for a few years unpleasantness as Trump’s wife. I think his successful run for the presidency threw a real wrench into her plans. There’s now no way he and his advisors will let her divorce him while he’s in the White House.

    • Just another media drive by shooting.

    • It would be interesting to see the pre-nup they signed. Even if it would cost her ‘bigly’ to dump him, it may give her some power just to threaten to do so. The Trumpites certainly can’t have her publicly mention divorce or, if she went through with it, have her out there spilling her guts about him. I’m sure she has some interesting tidbits that she could share.
      She might even be able to get out of or renegotiate the pre-nup. He’s into renegotiating trade agreements, I hear.

  3. Just another media drive by shooting.

  4. trump wants nothing but arm candy.
    melania wants nothing but a free ticket
    what they both have in common is the need to sue when things don’t go their way AND their love of money.
    how this man became president is sickening

    • re “how this man became president is sickening”:

      Trump carried 30 of the 50 US states and thus the electoral college. That’s how.

      Personally I prefer Trump’s many warts to Hillary’s.

  5. Apparently all if fair in the war on Trump, including women bashing women.

    • Men bash men.

  6. At least she is being more straightforward about it than the Clintons and the $500 million+ (U.S.)in so-called speaking fees they’ve “earned” plus the couple of extra million Bill got for pardoning the fugitive Mark Rich.

  7. As I read this I got more and more angry at the tone and ugly bias. By the time I finished I thought this must have been written by Anne Kingston and, when I scrolled back to the top of the article I was right. There is so much venomous supposition and nonsense it is difficult to conceive what mind bending meds Kingston is on!! Let me give you some examples-the selection could be endless!!

    “like her husband, views the White House as a branding platform”. Not long ago you lefties were delighted because you thought Trump was ruining his brand through his actions-now he apparently is embellishing it!!

    “Melania Trump was summoned for a CNN interview to try to deflect her husband’s “grab them by the” p—y” boast” When Willy Clinton was under all sorts of, what turned out to be valid, claims of sexual abuse, Hillary went on the TV and called these abused women trailer trash and sluts. Melania was certainly more dignified than that.

    “Trump’s boorish behaviour toward his wife, and her evident distress, was seen by all.” I watched the referenced material you provided and I didn’t see anything boorish at all. I just see two occasionally nervous people during the biggest day of their lives.

    “LGBTQ youth are disproportionately affected by bullying. Addressing that stands to alienate Trump’s Religious Right base”. First, I don’t think the Religious Right base, even if they don’t believe in something, support bullying. Secondly, I have NEVER heard Trump say anything against the LGBTQ community and he personally is a mix between the good side of liberals and conservatism and I don’t think he cares if some in The GOP have a different view. When was the last time you saw a Republican President developing good relationships with unions?

    “The couple attended a fundraising ball thrown by the Red Cross, an organization that aids the very people affected by Trump’s travel ban”. The scope of the Red Cross is huge-helping the homeless, troubled youths, those with addictions, people without necessities for life, those impacted by earthquakes, those injured while at war, etc. However, I don’t think the Red Cross is big on aiding terrorists. And Trumps TEMPORARY ban is aimed at ensuring the vetting process is robust enough to detect those sorts seeking entry to the US.
    The recent Rasmussen poll says that 55% of Americans support his temporary ban.

    “(she also successfully sued a blogger) for spreading alleged falsehoods”. Since she was successful in her law suit, I’d conclude the false hoods were indeed falsehoods-nothing “alleged” about them. Like the Daily Mail lying that she was an “elite escort” and then retracting it. You think it’s wrong for someone to protect their reputation from the spreading of derogatory, erroneous slurs?

    McLean’s further damages it’s reputation each time it includes an article by Kingston.

    • You didn’t notice who wrote it before you read it – that’s a bit odd.

      • No-I seldom look at the author’s name-just the title to see if it’s a subject I’m interested in.

  8. Relax, Macleans. Find something meaningful to complain about.

    A President of the United States is not required to have a wife, and any duties that she undertakes are purely of her own volition.

    She is also free to work if she wishes.

    If Hillary had been elected, then First Gentleman Bill could have chased women all over the White House if he still was able to be a philanderer.

    All that is really required of US First Ladies/Gentlemen is to be lawful in their actions, like any other citizen.

    • https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=o21fXqguD7U

      Is there any level that The Donald can sink to where you let go of the comparisons to Hiliary and Bill and just admit that the Donald is a scum bag? Yes Bill is a scum bag. Bill got impeached. You want Hiliary to pay for Bill’s nasty behavior, fine then guess what….the other First Lady will have to pay for her husband’s scum bag behavior as well because what did she say about boys being boys and Billy Bush being responsible for leading The Donald astray. It seems neither of these First Ladies can let their scum bag husbands accept responsibility for being philanderers and sexual predators. The fact that you don’t find it “meaningful” that the current POTUS is a predator is disturbing and is the reason why 3 million women globally protested his election and why media like Macleans have to keep publishing these articles. If it were up to people like you, Jian Ghomeshi would still be bending his co workers over desks and grinding his pelvis into their derrières. It might be irrelevant to you but I’ll bet if some big bubba gave you that treatment or The Donald treatment where he grabbed your privates, it would not be so meaningless after all.

      • It shows you how far women will go to live the good life:
        -Hillary with Willy’s multitude of sexual assaults
        -Carolyn Kennedy with the biggest philanderer of all times.
        -all those women with Ghomeshi.
        -and Milania with a guy with a fowl mouth.
        Somehow the latter seems pretty mild compared to the others.

        • Oh, and I forgot to mention 53% of American Caucasian women voted for Trump. The ones out protesting, who were primarily Caucasian, were the alt lefties most of whom (54 different groups in the US protests) were inspired and funded by George Soros’ organization. Their purpose was about as oblique as the Occupy Wall Street Movement-in interviews I heard at least 15 different protest issues. If Trump found a cure for cancer, these leftist crack pots would start a protest that he took work away from The Grim Reaper.

          • https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=o21fXqguD7U
            Hiliary Clinton received 3 million more of the popular vote than Trump did. There are women world wide who are oppressed by men to the point that they abort their female children and insist on keeping their male progeny. No doubt, any female linked to you Jerome would be so brow beaten she too would vote exactly how you told her to. Then we have the Kellyanne Conways of the world who are so dense that they spew lies about massacres that never even occurred and present alternate facts as though the truth has multiple options. People like to talk about how Muslim women are marginalized but really no women is oppressed to the degree that those who are linked to the alt-right are. Those women aren’t allowed an opinion and they certainly are allowed to vote their conscience. Otherwise, what self-respecting women would vote for a man who admitted he indescrimately grabbed female’s genitalia? Did they not understand that even his hats that said “Make America Great” were manufactured in China? Ivanka’s clothing lines are manufactured in China and Bangladesh. The man is so full of alternative facts, he has to accuse every media organization of fake news because his claims cannot stand up to any scrutiny. Even Bill O’Reilly from Fox News is refusing to stand down to his contention that Vlad Putin is a killer. When Fox News is challenging a Republican POTUS, you know there are issues with the stability of the administration.

        • Oops I meant Jackie Kennedy

          • Wait a minute, let’s back up to Jian Ghomeshi….are you not aware that he ADMITTED in a court room to sexually assaulting a woman he worked with? It was a 2nd set of charges…not the first trial. This was a woman from the CBC, whom he bent over a desk at one point and ground his pelvis into her derrière. He admitted in court what he had done and apologized to her. Yet here you are defending him. The head of human resources at the CBC was fired because this woman complained about Ghomeshi treatment of her….it wasn’t a one time occurrence. My point is you are disgusted by Hiliary and her defence of Bill Clinton who no doubt is a predator but you defend Donald Trump who admitted on tape he is a predator and Melania made excuses for his behavior, blaming Billy Bush. I don’t care if your wife is a Liberal. Women have the right to decide what they will spend their money on and they are not spending their money on Ivanka’s clothing line. Doesn’t it bother you in the slightest that Ivanka’s clothes are not made in America, even though she, her family and her father campaigned on returning manufacturing to America. Doesn’t it bother you that the places where Ivanka gets her clothes manufactured give 1 week of maternity leave yet Ivanka pretends to be a woman’s rights advocate? Donald and his crew talk about false news. Hello! No one has told more lies than they have. Women have the right to protest and to spend their hard earned money where they want to. Melania doesn’t get a free pass because you certainly didn’t give Hiliary one and they both are guilty of the same thing….defending scum bags that they are married to. Isn’t that what Donald Trump accused Hiliary of at the debates? He said Hiliary as the First Lady treated the women Bill slept with poorly. What is Ms. Kingston doing that Donald Trump didn’t do to Hiliary? She is demanding that Melania be held accountable for her decisions as The First Lady. She is demanding the Melania stand up and be accountable for her choices. The Donald by his own words should approve.

        • Gosh Jerome, you forgot to mention all those women with Bill Cosby. As for the woman who was sexually assaulted on the job by Jian Ghomeshi, she hardly asked for it but hey, keep it up…blaming the women. You heard Trump…he just went up to women and grabbed them by the pu$$y. Somehow, it is always the women’s fault. The women who get assaulted as well as the women who have the unfortunate luck to be married to these predators. No where do you ever hold any one of these predators accountable for their behavior and you attack the media for attempting to hold the predators accountable. You hold women who protest the behavior in disdain. What is it with you misognists? As for “Caroline Kennedy” being with the biggest philanderer of all time, are you sure you aren’t thinking about someone else…maybe her mother, Jackie? Again, you blame the women. What is it, do you have some mother complex? You believe all women who get abused asked for it. You really belong in a country where they stone women who get raped. You think exactly the way they do. Protect The Donald at all costs. Well Jerome, if you ever meet the man, don’t leave your daughters or grand daughters alone in the room with him.

          • Gage,
            Where do you get such nonsense from-95% of what you said above in your two rants has next to nothing to do with the vicious Kingston article!!
            First, I’ve been married to the same great lady for 49 years and she is a Liberal (unfortunately). She respects my views as I do hers. However, she too was annoyed by Kingston’s article beating on Melania Trump. She also is annoyed that Nordstrom and others have dropped Ivanka’s clothing line on the basis of “poor sales” when sales sales of Ivanka’s line were up in 2016 by 21% verses 2015. So Nordstrom and the others are just demonstrating more alt left sour grapes.
            Second, Bill Cosby is a MUCH different situation than Clinton, Kennedy or Ghomeshi., That pervert Cosby had only one contact with each of his very unfortunate victims. All of the women involved with Clinton, Kennedy and Ghomeshi knew full well they were involved with a sexual abuser but none had the gumption to say goodbye to the bums. Now you explain to me why they stayed with them or in Ghomeshi’s case wanted to keep coming back.
            Third, the vicious Kingston article was maligning Melania Trump in very unfair ways across a large number of fronts. You seem to think the whole article was somehow about Trump’s inappropriate misogynistic comments he made on the bus.
            Fourth, the media in America is decidedly left wing and looks for every opportunity to make negative and often false comments about Trump . During the campaign, CNN was dubbed the Clinton News Network. It’s quite telling that FOX has more viewers than CNN, MSNBC and ABC combined. You know why that is? There is no other station where you can get the other side of the story.
            Fifth, Clinton only pulled ahead in the popular vote when California votes were added. The rioting, irrational Democrats should appoint her the Queen of California and move along. They seem to be missing a very salient point. Trump campaigned for 18 months warts and all and in the end was viewed to be a better choice than Hillary to fix the mess Obama had made. So, he became President and unlike most politicians he is delivering on the promises that got him elected-THERE ARE NO SURPRISES. For his most contentious move to date-the temporary ban on 7 terrorist sponsoring countries with poor documentation, as I noted 55% of Americans are supportive; 30% are not (the ones George Soros is funding) and 15% don’t have an opinion. On his economic policies support is even higher as witnessed by the rocketing of the DOW.

  9. @Anne Kingston. Meow! (Much).

    • https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=o21fXqguD7U
      Make excuses for Trump’s misognistic and ugly behavior. Surely you and Jerome were born from a mother who was a female….you were not hatched from an egg. Any man who would defend Trump’s lack of respect of 50 percent of the population doesn’t even deserve to vote for a leader.

      • @Gage – Ah, now we know who shares False News.

        • Are you saying the tape with the actual Donald in person telling Billy Bush that he grabs women by the pu$$y is “false news?” Hahaha. Wow. That is an impressive delusion you have going on there. Have you listened to the Howard Stern interviews where the Donald and Howard discuss what a “nice piece of ass Ivanka (The Donald’s daughter) is? Doesn’t it make you throw up a little in your mouth to hear a dad talk about his daughter that way? No? Well, I have some more news for you. Melania never denied The Donald’s Billy Bush interview was authentic. She just said Billy encouraged the Donald to misbehave.

      • P.S. Why on Earth do you believe that ” 3 million women globally…” are entitled to any say in U.S. politics.
        That’s exactly the same as ISIS beliefs.

        • The Donald is threatening the peace and prosperity of the world and as women make up 50 percent of the population, they have a right and an obligation to protest peacefully to his misguided and bigoted politics. Funny you would compare peaceful protest, which even the Donald admitted is one of the great privileges of free speech in a democracy to the horrors of terrorist actions. Apparently freedom of the press is another part of the US constitution and other democracies that you don’t agree with. You don’t seem to have a problem with men such as yourself voicing your opinion. Is it when women get together and voice theirs that it bothers you and you feel the need to suppress it by suggesting it is akin to throwing Christians off of buildings.

          • If they would only protest peacefully, I wouldn’t have a problem. And if they’d be more inclusive, they’d be even better. Imagine not letting pro-life female supporters join in the women’s protest. The protesters, like all alt lefties, are unable to accept any other view than their own.

          • Who in the women’s protest wasn’t peaceful? Don’t try to link other protesters who took the opportunity to do damage to businesses to the women who were wearing pink pussy hats. Those 3 million women who peacefully protested worldwide did not wear masks or do any damage. Even Donald Trump said they were exercising their democratic right to peaceful demonstration. As for letting pro-life female supporters into the protest, I think the pro-lifers would be protesting a different issue. Unfortunately pro-lifers are the ones that aren’t inclusive. They aren’t satisfied to control their own reproductive rights, they want to control everyone’s reproductive rights. I am not an “alt-lefty”. I vote Wild Rose provincially and Conservative Nationally. Donald Trump isn’t a Republican either. Stephen Harper voted for abortion rights as has the Conservative party of Canada. I don’t know who you guys are but The Conservative Party of Canada officially supports gay marriage and abortion rights. These issues were adopted into the constitution of the party. The women who protested, the pussy hats, were protesting to support the rights of women to feel safe and not have to worry about men grabbing their nether regions without their permission. They were protesting the fact that the POTUS was a man who proudly admitted felt he had the right to grab women in their nether regions without their permission and stated that he had done so. Think about Jerome. How would you feel if some big bubba grabbed your nether regions without your permission? Would you be inclined to vote for him? If you were told to get over it and que up for more of that behavior, would you be so forgiving? I believe it is a bit like looking forward to a stint in prison where one’s nether regions get grabbed and violated quite often without one’s permission. You can’t know what it means to you until you lose the right to say no.