Vanity Fair Mexico Dubs First Lady Melania Trump 'the New Jackie Kennedy' — Just as Border Wall Tensions Increase
Well, that’s awkward timing.
Just as President Donald Trump takes action to fulfill his campaign promise to build a wall along the Mexican border, his wife, First Lady Melania Trump, is gracing the cover of Vanity Fair Mexico’s February issue — which dubs her “the new Jackie Kennedy.”
The image, released Thursday, features the 46-year-old former model in a Douglas Friedman-shot photo. Poised in a sleeveless white dress, she sits at a table with a fork in her hand — appearing as if she’s about to dig into a bowl of spaghetti.
Except it’s not spaghetti. It’s a bowl filled with sparkling diamond and gems — much like the jewelry worn on her wrists and hands.
The shot was originally taken for an April 2016 story in GQ magazine, which like Vanity Fair is owned by Condé Nast. The Vanity Fair Mexico cover story also comes from the GQ interview.
The release comes a day after the president signed executive orders to begin construction on his promised wall — using federal funding that he has promised will be “reimbursed” by Mexico. He also pledged to boost U.S. Border Patrol.
He’s already hit a roadblock in fulfilling his vow to make Mexico pay for his border wall, however. On Thursday, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto released a firm reiteration of Mexico’s refusal to fund a U.S. border wall — canceling plans to meet with Trump next Tuesday to discuss trade and immigration.
“This morning we told the White House we won’t attend next Tuesday’s meeting with @POTUS,” Peña Nieto wrote on Twitter in Spanish on Thursday morning, according to Politico‘s translation. “Mexico reiterates its will to work with the U.S. to achieve agreements for both of us.”
Trump had threatened to cancel the meeting himself earlier on Thursday, and would later claim that he and Peña Nieto had “agreed” to removing the discussions from their calendars. As he wrote on Twitter:
He was responding to a video statement Peña Nieto posted to his Twitter Wednesday night, in which the Mexican president said he “regrets and rejects” Trump’s orders cracking down on illegal immigration, and stressed: “I have said it over and over again: Mexico will not pay for any wall.”
(Trump spokesman Sean Spicer said Thursday that the U.S. could effectively get funding for the wall from Mexico by imposing a 20 percent tax on all imports from Mexico.)
Peña Nieto also addressed his nation, declaring that “Mexico does not believe in walls,” and promising to protect Mexicans in the United States. “Where there is a Mexican migrant at risk that requires our support, your country should be there,” he said in Spanish, according to the NBC News translation. “Our communities are not alone. The Mexican government will provide them with the legal advice, which guarantees the protection they require. The 50 Mexican consulates in the United States will become authentic advocates for the rights of migrants.”
“Mexico offers and demands respect as the fully sovereign nation we are,” he said, according to NBC News.
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Former Mexican President Vicente Fox put it even more bluntly to press secretary Spicer on Wednesday.
Spicer, traveling with the president to Philadelphia Thursday, downplayed the standoff with America’s ally to the south. Of the canceled meeting with Mexico’s Peña Nieto, Spicer told reporters aboard Air Force One: “We will look for a date to schedule something in the future. We will keep the lines of communication open.”
Indeed, the two leaders spoke by phone on Friday, The New York Times and other outlets confirmed.