Melania Trump went from being the daughter of a communist car parts salesman living in Slovenia to first lady of the United States of America and living in the White House.
Trump is only the second foreign-born first lady in the history of the United States, and a school in Croatia decided she was the perfect example of the importance of learning English.
A billboard promoting English classes at the Američki Institut in Zagreb featured an illustration of what appears similar to an image of the first lady making a speech at the Republican National Convention. Trump is pictured next to the words, “Just imagine how far you can go with a little bit of English.”
Ivis Buric, the Institute’s communications manager, told CNBC it wasn’t about politics, it was about encouraging people to learn English because it can help immensely in today’s world.
“Tens of thousands (maybe hundreds) are leaving the country and moving to places like Ireland, Canada, Australia, and the U.S. primarily in search of a better paycheck. And for those who don’t leave, Croatia’s primary industry is tourism,” Buric explained. “So at the moment, the importance of learning English — and learning it well — has never been higher here in Croatia.”
She called Trump “the most recognized emigrant” to the U.S. from the region and purchased five billboards, which they intended to cover with the ad.
However, the campaign was short-lived, and ABC News reported that the first lady saw it as an attack on her heavily accented, yet impressive, English. Her lawyer, Natasa Pirc-Musar, contacted Buric and requested that it be removed immediately because it “violated the law.”
Buric apologized for the billboards and claimed they weren’t meant to “mock” her but to inspire others. “It was meant to be something positive, to show her as a role model,” she said.
Pirc-Musar said Trump is “satisfied” with the school admitting fault and removing the ads, but added that the team is “still analyzing possible further legal steps.”