A former senior reporter at the New York Times has been forced to apologize after launching a “xenophobic” attack on Melania Trump, saying he was “furious” that the first lady is a “foreigner” who “had the audacity to wreck the Rose Garden.”
Kurt Eichenwald’s was slammed for a series of tweets that came just hours after the first lady, who was born in Slovenia, revealed to the world changes she had made to the iconic White House Rose Garden.
“It is a destruction of our history, something no other First Lady would have had the gall to do,” said the now-bestselling author who was twice a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.
In tweets that have since been deleted, the 59 year old branded the president’s wife – who obtained US citizenship some 14 years ago – a “foreigner” who has “no right to wreck our history.”
“I still find it unbelievable that @FLOTUS who has only been a citizen since the middle of GW Bush’s second term had the audacity to wreck the Rose Garden, to pull up history dating back a lifetime,” he wrote.
“These trashy, evil, stupid people need to get out of our house. What GALL she has.”
Eichenwald, who spent two decades at the New York Times, faced immediate backlash for the tweets — including by other high profile journalists.
“This is a horrible anti-immigrant take, Kurt, and you should delete it and apologize,” replied Mehdi Hasan, a columnist with The Intercept and a host on Al Jazeera.
“Call Melania awful, fine. Call her a hypocrite, fine. But don’t question her naturalized citizenship or suggest immigrants have second-class or inferior citizenship rights to the rest of the citizenry,” he warned.
“That’s totally wrong and a dangerous path to go down, sorry.”
The offensive outburst also drew condemnation from CNN’s Jake Tapper, who accused Eichenwald of being ‘xenophobic and wrong’.
“This is xenophobic and wrong. It’s bigotry,” he replied to Eichenwald.
Eichenwald later removed the offending tweets and apologized.”People may have misunderstood my point about Melania being a foreigner & ripping up plants put in place by almost 100 years of First Ladies,” he tweeted.
“It was a complex point & I was wrong to say it. My point was, people who come to America should celebrate its history, not ignore it. But I deleted the tweets. I did not have the ill-intent they seemed to have conveyed to so many. I should be more careful in what those types of words seem to imply. We all fail in our words at times, this was one of my times. I apologize.”