In the minutes after Donald Trump took the presidential oath of office on Friday, the White House website immediately transitioned, and many pages were notably missing. But there was still room to promote First Lady Melania Trump’s jewelry line.
The FLOTUS bio page conspicuously includes a long list of the many brands for which she has modeled and magazines in which she has appeared. Describing her as a “successful entrepreneur,” the bio also originally stated, “In April 2010, Melania Trump launched her own jewelry collection, ‘Melania™ Timepieces & Jewelry,’ on QVC.”
QVC confirmed to the Washington Post that it no longer has “an active relationship with the brand,” and the bio has since been edited to remove the reference to the home shopping company as well as the title of the brand. It now simply says, “In April 2010, Melania Trump launched her own jewelry collection.”
Despite the attention paid to shilling for Melania Trump’s brands and media résumé, many issue areas that President Obama had featured prominently on his website simply vanished. Gone were any mentions of climate change, immigration, LGBT rights, or civil rights — the latter being replaced with a page calling for more cops and reiterating Trump’s conflation of inner cities and majority-black neighborhoods with crime and poverty.
The erasure of these issues wasn’t limited to the mentions on the White House’s main page. For example, a Department of Labor page featuring many links related to implementation of President Obama’s executive order protecting LGBT employees of federal contractors from discrimination completely disappeared. It’s unclear how many other pages have gone missing — or might still.
Not only does Melania’s bio stand out against the issue pages vanishing, it’s also a stark reminder of the Trump family’s unresolved conflicts of interest. As of Friday afternoon, President Trump had not yet filed any of the documents to transfer ownership of his company, despite his promises to do so. That means that he could still personally profit from any decision he now makes as president, including promoting his wife’s jewelry line on the official White House page.
According to the First Lady’s spokesperson, the reference was intended to be a factual statement — not an endorsement — which is why it was updated.