The internet went crazy on Wednesday over a Vanity Fair video suggesting Hillary Clinton take up knitting in 2018 to keep her from running for office. Actress Patricia Arquette and others called the video sexist, leading the magazine to issue an apology. One person wasn't happy with the latest development, though: President Trump criticized Vanity Fair's apology for the Clinton video in a tweet Thursday morning.
If you missed the video controversy, Vanity Fair staffers suggested six New Year's resolutions for the former secretary of state (as well as for other politicians, including Sarah Huckabee Sanders). One suggestion was that Clinton take up a new hobby such as volunteer work, knitting, or improv comedy — "literally anything that will keep you from running again," tech writer Maya Kosoff said. Some people on Twitter found the knitting comment in particular sexist and told the magazine to stop telling women how to act.
The company issued a statement Thursday saying: "It was an attempt at humor and we regret that it missed the mark." However, Trump didn't think an apology was necessary, tweeting Thursday morning that Vanity Fair "is bending over backwards in apologizing for the minor hit they took at Crooked H."
Trump also called out Anna Wintour, editor-in-chief of Vogue and artistic director of Vanity Fair publisher Condé Nast, writing that she's "beside herself in grief [and] begging for forgiveness." He claimed the British-American editor was "all set" to be an ambassador to the U.K. if Clinton were elected. Wintour endorsed Clinton in 2016, but no evidence suggests she was tapped as a potential ambassador. The Vogue endorsement explained that the magazine had "no history of political endorsements," but the staff felt that should change "given the profound stakes of this one." Trump clearly remembered Wintour's support for Clinton.
The president has a history of targeting specific publication and journalists, and Thursday's tweet escalated a controversy that was already blown out of proportion. A Breitbart headline claimed Vanity Fair sparked "a liberal meltdown," and Kosoff locked her Twitter account after receiving a barrage of hateful messages.
Clinton didn't publicly respond to the video but multiple people who previously worked with her were among those calling the video sexist. Verrit co-founder and former Clinton adviser Peter Daou tweeted: "So @VanityFair decided that the best way to end 2017 was to take a repulsive cheap shot at @HillaryClinton, one of the most accomplished women in the history of the United States."
Similarly, Clinton adviser Adam Parkhomenko tweeted Wednesday: "I went to bed on Christmas not disliking @VanityFair. But, ya know. 2017."
While people took issue with Vanity Fair's suggestions for Clinton, the magazine didn't specifically target Clinton. There was also a video focused on Trump that recommended he get a new haircut, drink caffeine-free Diet Coke before bed, and delete the Twitter app from his phone. And the video dedicated to White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders suggested she think of ways to have more contempt for the press, start a morning radio show with Bernie Sanders, and quit her day job in order to take up food Instagramming. The videos were all clearly tongue-in-cheek, meant as a comical way to make observations about key political figures.
Nevertheless, the backlash escalated so much that the president felt the need to get involved. Trump has frequently tweeted about Clinton all year despite telling his 2016 opponent to "get on with your life" just last month, so it's no surprise he commented on a video mocking her. His view was the complete opposite of the general reaction on Twitter, though, asserting that Vanity Fair made a mistake in apologizing, not in making the video to begin with.
Disclosure: Hillary Clinton's son-in-law Marc Mezvinsky joined Social Capital, an investor in Bustle Digital Group, in mid 2017 and joined the Board of Bustle Digital Group in early 2018.