After publishing an in-depth look into the personal life of Melania Trump, the Slovenian wife of the GOP front-running candidate, journalist Julia Ioffe said she has received a slew of troubling phone calls and anti-Semitic messages online. Ioffe, who was born in Moscow and was based there as a reporter for three years, compared the anti-Semitism to “s--- I’ve only seen in Russia,” the Guardian reported Thursday.

“It’s unsettling,” Ioffe told the news website. “I started the day off having a sense of humor about it, but by the end of the day, after a few phone calls like this, with people playing Hitler speeches, and the imagery, and people telling me my face would look good on a lampshade, it’s hard to laugh.”



On social media, her face was superimposed on images of Auchwitz victims. The white supremacist site Daily Stormer titled one blog post “Empress Melania Attacked by Filthy Russian Kike Julia Ioffe in GQ!”

 Ioffe, a successful journalist who writes for publications like the New Yorker, wrote her profile of Melania Trump in GQ magazine. In it, she reveals a family secret: that Melania has an estranged half-brother.

“This is not a heavily critical article. There is nothing in it that is untrue,” Ioffe said. “If this is how Trump supporters swing into action, what happens when the press looks into corrupt dealings, for example, or is critical of his policies?”





The news comes as Donald Trump has repeatedly come under fire for his aggressive rhetoric against opponents. Some have accused the billionaire businessman, who maintains a strong lead ahead of his Republican contenders, of inciting violence against opponents at his rallies.

Melania Trump responded to the GQ article on Facebook, alleging it was an example of “dishonest media and their disingenuous reporting.” Her husband’s campaign has also come under scrutiny for its purported hostility to journalists. Donald Trump has routinely used terms like “scum” and “horrible” to describe the press.

Trump currently leads the Republican race toward the nomination with 994 delegates, according to the latest Associated Press count. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who trails behind with 566 delegates, and Ohio Gov. John Kasich, with 153 delegates, are hoping to block Trump from reaching the 1,237 delegates needed for the nomination.

“What happens if  Donald Trump is elected?” Ioffe said. “We’ve seen the way he bids his supporters to attack the media, his proposal to change libel laws to make it easier to sue journalists.”