Donald Trump is notorious for making controversial statements that set the internet on fire. But the relatively mild kerfuffle about whether his wife actually received a college degree appears to be something the Trumps would rather not see broadcast across the web.
Melania Trump’s personal and professional site, the Huffington Post reported on Wednesday, has disappeared. A search of Google’s cache reveals that sometime after 22 July, MelaniaTrump.com was redirected to Trump.com, the official site for the Trump Organization.
Speculation immediately centered on a claim made on Ms Trump’s online biography that she obtained “a degree in design and architecture at University in Slovenia” shortly before embarking on her modeling career.
An an unauthorized biography of Ms. Trump, published in February, claims the prospective first lady left the university after a year without obtaining her degree. Critics have accused the Trump campaign of deleting the site in order to hide her biography.
An image posted to Melania’s Twitter account earlier today states: “The website in question was created in 2012 and it has been removed because it does not accurately reflect my current business and professional interests.”
— MELANIA TRUMP (@MELANIATRUMP) July 28, 2016
The tweet was an unusual one for the wife of the US Republican Presidential candidate, who rarely posts to that account and usually only with photos. The Trump campaign did not respond to requests for comment.
Copies of Melania Trump’s biography page containing the controversial claim were still visible on the Internet Archive at the time of writing. However, there are also inexplicable gaps in the archive’s record. After 14 March 2013, for example, the MelaniaTrump.com home page is no longer visible.
Mark Graham, director of the Archive’s Wayback Machine, said “there are various technical factors … that can affect the quality of both the capture and replay of web pages.” He added no one from the Trump campaign contacted the archive to request the pages be removed.