Journalist Julia Ioffe fired by Politico, apologizes for offensive Trump tweet


(JTA) — Journalist Julia Ioffe, who was the target of anti-Semitic messages by Donald Trump supporters during the 2016 presidential campaign, was fired by Politico after posting a crude joke on Twitter about Trump and his daughter Ivanka.

Ioffe, who is Jewish, apologized early Thursday after deleting the tweet from the previous day.

“I do regret my phrasing and apologize for it,” she tweeted. It was a crass joke that I genuinely regret.”

Ioffe also tweeted: “It was a tasteless, offensive tweet that I regret and have deleted. I am truly and deeply sorry. It won’t happen again.”

The original tweet was in response to an article published by The Hill political website indicating that Ivanka Trump might get the office in the White House that is usually reserved for the first lady. Trump’s wife, Melania, has said she will remain in New York so as not to pull the couple’s 10-year-old son out of school.

“Either Trump is f***ing his daughter or he’s shirking nepotism laws. Which is worse?” Ioffe wrote in a post that was retweeted several thousand times.

Last week, The Atlantic magazine announced that Ioffe would join its staff covering national security, foreign policy and politics. Politico shortly after midnight Thursday said it would move up the end of Ioffe’s contract and terminate her immediately.

“Gratuitous opinion has no place, anywhere, at any time – not on your Facebook feed, your Twitter feed or any place else,” Politico editor-in-chief John Harris and editor Carrie Budoff Brown wrote in a letter to staff announcing the termination. “It has absolutely zero value for our readers and should have zero place in our work.”

Two hours later, at 2:19 a.m., The Atlantic issued a statement in support of Ioffe.

“Julie Ioffe made a mistake today on Twitter, which she regrets and for which she publicly apologized. We’re confident that when she joins The Atlantic next month she will adhere to our standards,” the statement said.

Ioffe’s Twitter feed and email inbox were flooded with anti-Semitic messages and imagery, including a cartoon of a Jew being executed, following a critical profile she wrote in May about Melania Trump.

At the time, Ioffe, whose family emigrated from the Soviet Union 26 years ago, said the abuse she faced reminded her of the anti-Semitism her family fled in Russia.

Trump called the article “inaccurate” and did not say anything to call off his supporters.

Ioffe was previously a contributor to the Huffington Post and a columnist at Foreign Policy during the 2016 campaign. She had previously been a senior editor at The New Republic, where she wrote about foreign affairs, Russian politics, the Sochi Olympics and the invasion of Ukraine.

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