Donald Trump, his wife Melania, their son Barron and her parents often vacation and obviously travel via Air Force One, which he is entitled to do, since he is the president.
Trump and his family were pictured boarding Air Force One in New Jersey after their summer vacation at his Bedminster golf club…but they were not alone.
The trio arrived back at the White House a short time later and were spotted stepping off Marine One, closely followed by Melania’s parents Amalija and Viktor Knavs.
Viktor, 77, and Amalija, 74, regularly travel with the first family after retiring from their respective jobs as a car salesman and pattern-cutter for a children’s clothing company in Slovenia.
A lawyer for the First Lady’s parents confirmed last year that the Knavs had taken an oath of U.S. citizenship on August 9, in New York City.
Barron is very close to his grandparents, with whom he reportedly speaks Slovenian, and Politico described them as “hyperinvolved” in his life. In fact, Barron still has a very strong Slovenian accent.
While Politico also reported last year that Melania’s parents would “become more familiar figures around the White House”—much the way Michelle Obama’s mother Marian Robinson did when she moved into the presidential mansion—a White House spokeswoman said she could not confirm the outlet’s claim, writing in an e-mail, “We don’t comment on the first lady’s parents, as they are private citizens and we want to respect that.”
But it seems conservatives have no problem with Melania’s parents getting to hitch a ride on Air Force One and Marine One.
This is odd because conservatives constantly railed against former President Barack Obama for bringing his mother-in-law with him on trips with his family. Marian Robinson lived in the White House with Barack and Michelle Obama, and was one of the caretakers of their daughters Sasha and Malia.
Conservatives even claimed that Marian Johnson would receive a pension of $160,000 per year for her role in taking care of her grandchildren, but that was repeatedly proven false.
Also, remember that Melania’s father also has a hidden past that includes a criminal record.
The Daily Beast claims that Melania Trump’s biographer discovered that Viktor Knavs had a record with the Yugoslavian secret police back in Slovenia.
Author Igor Omerza said that when he was reading through the database of the archives of the secret police archives, Knavs was revealed as having a criminal record. Despite this fact, Viktor and his wife, Melania’s mother, both easily became U.S. citizens.
Viktor Knavs was listed as a person with a criminal record, being found guilty of two items in the “Yugoslav Penal Code.” There are no details of the crime committed, but the report indicates that it was related to “the acquisition, sale or production of goods without the explicit permission of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.”
A person convicted of those crimes would normally face up to 10 years in jail, as well as significant fines.
David Leopold, an immigration lawyer, says that Knavs’s criminal background would have most definitely stopped him from becoming a U.S. citizen if he were anyone else but Melania’s daddy.
Michael Wildes, the immigration lawyer for Melania Trump’s parents, said there is nothing strange going on and they followed the rules 100%.
“Mr. Knavs’s application for U.S. citizenship was properly executed and adjudicated, consistent with the Immigration and Nationality Act. His naturalization process was no different than anyone else seeking citizenship in this country.”