Melania Trump Inc. Imperiled
President Donald Trump and his family have done little to assuage concerns that they see the White House as a cash cow. The president has bucked tradition by refusing to release his tax returns. He ignored pleas from the Office of Government Ethics, which called on him to fully divest his holdings in order to avoid dragging mounds of conflicts of interest into the Oval Office. The president’s adult sons have been busy working on projects at home and abroad now that the Trump name opens more doors than ever. Ivanka Trump, the president’s daughter, conspicuously wore a piece from her jewelry line in a postelection interview on CBS’s “60 Minutes.”
But any veneer of plausible deniability about the Trump family’s greed and their transactional view of the most powerful job in the world was shattered this week by a defamation lawsuit the first lady, Melania Trump, filed. Mrs. Trump is suing The Daily Mail’s website in New York State court over a story published last year that included a baseless claim that the former model once worked as an escort. Mrs. Trump is certainly entitled to challenge the accuracy of that allegation and to argue that it was defamatory.