Things That Matter

Melania Trump Will Be The Second Immigrant First Lady In U.S. History

@MELANIATRUMP / Twitter

The United States of America is about to get a new First Lady, and she’s an immigrant. While Melania Trump won’t be the first foreign-born First Lady in American history, it’s been 192 years since British-born Louisa Adams, President John Adams’ wife, lived in The White House. Here’s a little timeline to familiarize yourself with the nation’s second immigrant First Lady…

Melania Trump (born Melanija Knava) was born in modern-day Slovenia when it was still Yugoslavia.


She was born to Viktor and Amalija Knavs on April 26, 1970. According to the Daily Mail, Melania’s father was a member of the League of Communists.

She always dreamed of becoming a model since she was a young girl participating in fashion shows in the small town of Sevnica, Slovenia.


“Melania was transfixed by the idea of becoming a model and loved sketching designs for clothes,” Melania’s best friend Nena Bedek told Daily Mail. “She took extra art classes outside school and was naturally stylish and she had a good dress sense. And she would pick up magazines from her mother’s trade shows, soaking up ideas.”

According to Biography, Melania began modeling at 16 years old and even dropped out of the University of Ljubljana after one year to pursue her modeling full time.


Dropping out of school seems to not have been in vain after success as a model in Paris and Milan. Melania moved to New York City in 1996 and found more success with world-renowned photographers.

Two years after moving to New York City, in 1998, Melania met Donald Trump during a New York fashion party. In 2004, they became engaged.


Even though Melania did not want to date Donald originally, she eventually established a relationship with the real estate mogul. By 2005, the couple married in front of guests that included Hillary and Bill Clinton.

Just one year after their marriage, Melania and Donald welcomed their son Barron into the world.


By 2010, Melania launched her own jewelry line and it was a hit on QVC.


According to Forbes, her jewelry line has seen a steady decrease in revenue.


Melania caused a media frenzy when she was accused of copying Michelle Obama’s 2008 Democratic National Convention speech.


All parts of the Trump campaign vehemently denied the plagiarism claims, but the similarities between the two speeches were apparent.

During the campaign, Melania stood beside her husband and supported almost everything he did, except for his Twitter etiquette.


“Sometimes I feel that the retweets sometimes get him in trouble so I say stay away from retweets,” Melanie told Sean Hannity. “And you know if he would only listen… he’s doing great.”

And, as First Lady, Melania has vowed to tackle the cyberbullying culture of America.


“Our culture has gotten too mean and too rough, especially to children and teenagers,” she told a crowd during a Trump rally in Philadelphia. “It is never OK when a 12-year-old girl or boy is mocked, bullied or attacked. It is terrible when that happens on the playground and it is absolutely unacceptable when it’s done by someone with no name hiding on the internet.”

Ladies and gentlemen, your First Lady of the United States: Melania Trump.


READ: Latinos Are Coping Through This Tumultuous Time In Politics With Laughter

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Trump Made It His Personal Business To Get Israel To Ban Two Democratic Congresswoman From Entering After Saying They “Hate Jewish People”

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Trump Made It His Personal Business To Get Israel To Ban Two Democratic Congresswoman From Entering After Saying They “Hate Jewish People”

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Two Democratic members of Congress have just been barred from visiting Israel next week in a move that many fear will deepen the injured relationship between Democrats and the Jewish state and strengthen the bond between Trump and Israeli leaders. On Thursday, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu blocked Congresswomen Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) from embarking on a planned trip to the country. 

Deputy foreign minister Tzipi Hotovely confirmed the ban in a statement to CNN. 

“The plan of the two Congresswomen is only to damage Israel and to foment against Israel,” Netanyahu said.

The decision came after President Donald Trump said Israel would be showing “great weakness” if they allowed the women of color legislators, who have both been very critical of the country, to visit. “It would show great weakness if Israel allowed Rep. Omar and Rep.Tlaib to visit. They hate Israel & all Jewish people,” the president wrote on Twitter Thursday morning. “There is nothing that can be said or done to change their minds. Minnesota and Michigan will have a hard time putting them back in office. They are a disgrace!”

The private trip was organized by a Palestinian-led nonprofit. The women were expected to visit Israel and the West Bank, where Tlaib has family, as well as Bethlehem, Hebron, Ramallah, and Jerusalem. In the latter Middle Eastern city, they were to join members of the Palestinian Authority at the Temple Mount (called Haram al-Sharif by Muslims), a major holy site for Jews, Christians and Muslims.

The decision to block the trip comes one month after Israeli Ambassador to the United States Ron Dermer said that the women would be allowed to visit Israel, noting at the time that barring them would be impertinent.

“Out of respect for the U.S. Congress and the great alliance between Israel and America, we would not deny entry to any member of Congress into Israel,” Dermer, who is close to Netanyahu, said

For some on the left, the Israeli government’s decision to go back on their word is proof that the decision was made in spite of the women. 

Even more, they see it as potentially damaging to an already strained relationship.

“Israel’s denial of entry to Congresswomen Tlaib and Omar is a sign of weakness, and beneath the dignity of the great State of Israel,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a statement. “The President’s statements about the Congresswomen are a sign of ignorance and disrespect, and beneath the dignity of the Office of the President.”

In a separate statement, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer called the decision a “sign of weakness, not strength,” adding that “it will only hurt the U.S.-Israeli relationship and support for Israel in America … Many strong supporters of Israel will be deeply disappointed in this decision, which the Israeli government should reverse.”

Netanyahu’s main grievance with the women is that they support the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel. Both Omar and Tlaib voted for legislation that would have made it US policy to boycott Israel; the measure was thwarted 398-17 in the House.

Since about 2005, the BDS movement has attempted to force Israel to change its approach to the Palestinians through external pressure, like demanding companies to halt business with Israel, asking consumers to stop buying Israeli products and calling on scholars and cultural leaders to stop collaborating with colleagues in the country. For supporters, the mission is much like the boycotts that targeted apartheid in South Africa in the 1980s. 

For opponents, however, the movement, and its followers are deemed anti-Semitic.

Democratic presidential candidates have chimed in on the matter as well, with some recognizing that difference in views does not equate to anti-Semitism and others directly placing their anger with Trump, who they believe helped stir up Isreali leaders with his damaging remarks against Reps. Tlaib and Omar.

“Israel doesn’t advance its case as a tolerant democracy or unwavering US ally by barring elected members of Congress from visiting because of their political views,” Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) tweeted. “This would be a shameful, unprecedented move. I urge Israel’s government to allow @IlhanMN and @RashidaTlaib entry.”

Speaking to Trump, Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vermont) called the president a bigot and told him, “opposing Netanyahu’s policies is not ‘hating the Jewish people.”

Former US representative Beto O’Rourke (D-TX) added: “President Trump, you show great weakness every single day—when you attack women of color when you degrade the office of the president, and when you ask our allies to stoop to your level.”

In July, Trump told Omar and Tlaib, among other members of their “squad” — which also includes Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) — to “go back” to their countries. Tlaib was born in the United States, and Omar was born in Somalia and is a naturalized US citizen.

President Trump Would Rather Sue California Than Release His Tax Returns

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President Trump Would Rather Sue California Than Release His Tax Returns

Gage Skidmore / Flickr / gavinnewsom / Instagram

With just months to spare before the 2020 election, California Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom signed a bill into law that would require presidential candidates to publicly release the last five years of their taxes in order to be eligible to take up space on the state primary ballot. The move turns what had been largely accepted tradition into law. In 2016, Trump was the first to refuse to release his tax returns in nearly half a century. The Presidential Tax Transparency and Accountability Act is the latest move by the Democratic party to force Trump’s hand in revealing his tax returns.

One week later, Trump filed a lawsuit against the state of California to challenge the law as adding an “unconstitutional qualification” to the pre-determined qualifications for the presidency.

Newsom tweeted directly at Trump saying, “There’s an easy fix Mr. President – release your tax returns as you promised.”

Credit: @GavinNewsom / Twitter

“Follow the precedent of every president since 1973,” he concluded. 

“These are extraordinary times and states have a legal and moral duty to do everything in their power to ensure leaders seeking the highest offices meet minimal standards and to restore public confidence,” Newsom said in a statement after signing the bill.

The measure is meant to create transparency around a candidate’s “influence from domestic and foreign business interest.”

Credit: @mindyanns / Twitter

During Trump’s campaign, he had cited an IRS audit as the reason he couldn’t release his taxes. Law experts have called the excuse “hogwash” and just a pitiful attempt to dodge accountability. Trump sold himself to Americans as a self-made billionaire. He should want to back up that claim. In the years since investigative journalists at The New York Times have tried to drudge up some semblance of the truth. It’s appeared that Trump has filed for bankruptcy numerous times, raising suspicions of either tax evasion or a highly aggrandized account of his own wealth.

Former Democratic California Governor Jerry Brown vetoed a similar bill in 2017, as a “slippery slope” toward unprecedented asks of candidates.

Credit: @MyDesert / Twitter

“Today we require tax returns, but what would be next?” Brown had asked. “Five years of health records? A certified birth certificate? High school report cards? And will these requirements vary depending on which political party is in power?”

The constitutionality of Newsom’s bill will likely be decided in the Supreme Court.

Credit: @CarmenChambers / Twitter

Legal expert Rick Hasen of UC Irvine has similar concerns to Gov. Brown. If the state law is constitutional, “we might see a race to the bottom whereby other states enact ballot access requirements, such as a requirement for candidates to produce a birth certificate, which could affect which candidates can run in which states,” he told CNN.

Trump’s attorneys have been blocking access to his tax returns at all access points in recent weeks.

Credit: @ShellE719 / Twitter

House Democrats have filed for a release of his tax returns from Trump’s companies’ banks, his accounting firm and from members of his family. His legal team is hard at work to make sure Trump’s tax returns never see the light of day. 

Of course, Trump has tweeted his opposition to California’s new law, making Twitter the vehicle for civil discourse.

Credit: @realDonaldTrump / Twitter

He followed up the above tweet with a claim of “Just more of the record setting Presidential Harassment. Don’t feel badly, New York State is far worse!” Guess Trump never learned that #PresidentialHarassment for many sounds more like “grab ’em by the pussy.”

Californians are taking to Twitter to remind Trump that he didn’t care about Californian Republicans when the state was on fire.

Credit: @mmpadellan / Twitter

“Since when did YOU give a d*** about California? You told them to go rake,” comments one Twitter user. Many voters have a deep-seated mistrust of Trump after Russia interfered in the 2016 election that granted Trump the presidency. Under most other employment laws, Trump likely would have been fired for sexual harassment, ethnic discrimination and more. This user simply wants to see Trump held accountable to the same standards as previous presidents.

Others are taking the opportunity to call Congress to #ImpeachDonaldTrumpNOW.

Credit: @Terileeh2 / Twitter

If you pay your taxes, there’s really nothing to hide. America wants to know what Trump is trying to hide from the American people. If we’re all paying taxes that he’s circumvented, it makes it difficult to trust that he will understand the value and worth of our dollars. You can’t cheat the system and then be trusted to run it.

The Republican National Committee and Republican Party of California have filed a similar lawsuit against California.

Credit: @Trump_2020KAG / Twitter

They say the bill takes away voting rights from Trump’s supporters. We’ll see whether the judge believes that it’s actually Trump who is taking away voting rights from Trump supporters by withholding his tax returns or not. 

In the meantime, Trump supporters will have to plan on writing his name in the box.

READ: President Trump Is Fighting With Governor Gavin Newsom Over Undocumented Immigrants Getting Healthcare

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