Harry Truman once wrote a newspaper columnist a scathing letter for being critical of his daughter

Harry TrumanGetty ImagesHarry Truman.

President Donald Trump caught some heat on Wednesday when he tweeted that his daughter, Ivanka, was being “treated so unfairly” by retailing giant Nordstrom, which dropped her fashion brand from its line of products.

“She is a great person — always pushing me to do the right thing!” he continued. “Terrible!”

But Trump is not the first president to take shots in defence of a daughter.

A 1950 letter from President Harry Truman to a Washington Post music critic doing just that made the rounds online Wednesday following Trump’s tweet. In it, Truman blasted the critic, Paul Hume, for his review of Truman’s daughter Margaret’s singing performance.

According to Truman’s presidential library, Hume wrote that Margaret was “a unique American phenomenon with a pleasant voice of little size and fair quality,” but “cannot sing very well” and “is flat a good deal of the time, more last night than at any time we have heard her in past years.

He kept at it, adding she “still cannot sing with anything approaching professional finish.”

Truman was irate, and fired off a scathing letter to Hume:

“Mr. Hume:

“I’ve just read your lousy review of Margaret’s concert. I’ve come to the conclusion that you are an ‘eight ulcer man on four ulcer pay.’

“It seems to me that you are a frustrated old man who wishes he could have been successful. When you write such poppy-cock as was in the back section of the paper you work for it shows conclusively that you’re off the beam and at least four of your ulcers are at work.

“Some day I hope to meet you. When that happens you’ll need a new nose, a lot of beefsteak for black eyes, and perhaps a supporter below!

“[Newspaper columnist Westbrook] Pegler, a gutter snipe, is a gentleman alongside you. I hope you’ll accept that statement as a worse insult than a reflection on your ancestry.


Hume ended up selling the letter the next year for $3,500, Truman’s library wrote.

In defending Trump’s statement Wednesday, White House press secretary Sean Spicer said the president “has every right to stand up for his family and applaud their business activities, their success,” during the daily press briefing.

A Nordstrom spokesperson told Business Insider it cut Ivanka’s fashion line because of poor performance.

“There’s a targeting of her brand and it’s her name,” Spicer said. “She’s not directly running the company. It’s still her name on it. There are clearly efforts to undermine that name based on her father’s positions on particular policies that he’s taken. This is a direct attack on his policies and her name. Her because she is being maligned because they have a problem with his policies.”

Spicer did not, however, describe Nordstrom’s actions as “poppy-cock.”

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