It’s a sad truth that women in the public eye face more than their fair share of sexism. As daughter of both a former president and a former presidential nominee, Chelsea Clinton has dealt with an abundance of snide remarks about her family. So it’s not all that surprising that Clinton rushed to condemn a “vile” tweet about Vanessa Trump — even though the person who posted it is one of her mother’s former employees.
On May 9th, Philippe Reines, Hillary Clinton’s former press secretary, retweeted a Page Six article alleging that Trump’s “first love” was a gang member named Valentin Rivera. Leaning heavily on racial stereotypes, Reines tagged Trump’s soon-to-be ex-husband Donald Trump Jr. and made a vulgar comment about Trump missing “the machismo” of her past relationship.
“Vanessa being with a Latin King must’ve driven you insanely jealous,” he taunted the president’s son. “The machismo, the passion. Tough act to follow. Did you wonder if she fantasized about Valentin Rivera when intimate with you? She did. Every time.”
Reines’ tweet quickly drew ire from Twitter users. Robby Starbuck, director of the production company RSM Creative, retweeted the post and tagged Clinton, asking her how she felt about it. And Clinton did not mince words when condemning Reines’ comments.
Reines apologized for his crude remarks in a later tweet, writing, “I regret the Tweet [sic]. But I wrote it, I own it.” He added that it was “wrong to include” Trump and Rivera but taunted the president’s son with “you ain’t seen nothing yet.”
Clinton has a long history of standing up for others, even when they’re on the other side of the political aisle. In June, she defended former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer from fat-shaming comments made by other members of the Trump administration. And in November, she defended another former first daughter, Malia Obama, urging tabloids to keep the college student out of their headlines.
The bottom line is that comments like Reines’ are never okay, no matter who makes them. It’s important for women to stick up for other women, and we applaud Clinton for condemning these remarks.