Julia Ioffe is an American journalist who covers national security and foreign policy topics for The Atlantic. Her writing has previously appeared in The Columbia Journalism Review, The Washington Post, The New Yorker, Foreign Policy, Forbes, The New Republic, Politico, and Russia!
Early life and education
Ioffe was born in Moscow and her family immigrated to the United States in 1990 when Ioffe was 7; they were legal immigrants who according to Ioffe were "fleeing anti-Semitism" in the Soviet Union due to being of Jewish descent. They settled in Columbia, Maryland. Ioffe attended Princeton University and earned an undergraduate degree, with a major in history, specializing in Soviet history.
Ioffe began her career as a factchecker for The New Yorker and moved to Columbia Journalism School's Knight Foundation Case Studies Initiative. She later won a Fulbright Scholarship to return to Russia and worked as the Moscow correspondent for The New Yorker and Foreign Policy. In 2012, she became a senior editor for The New Republic in Washington D.C.
Ioffe's work is often critical of Russian president Vladimir Putin and Moscow ex-mayor Yuri Luzhkov. She has written of receiving angry emails and letters from Russians upset over her coverage of the country. She has also written about the Russian state-funded news network RT, which she has described as a Kremlin mouthpiece.
Ioffe's writing and media appearances have drawn public attention, including a 2013 segment on MSNBC's The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell, in which the two argued about Putin's control of Russian media. In 2013, her story about contracting whooping cough, which she blamed partly on Jenny McCarthy, was The New Republic's most-read story of the year.
In December 2014, Ioffe was one of the many staff members at The New Republic to resign in protest against owner Chris Hughes's planned changes at the magazine. The following month, she joined The New York Times Magazine as a contributor.
In April 2016, Ioffe published a profile of Melania Trump for GQ magazine that revealed Melania Trump had a half-brother whom the family was not in contact with. Slate magazine characterized the profile as "generally positive" of Trump. Trump, however, wrote in a Facebook post, "There are numerous inaccuracies in this article [...] My parents are private citizens and should not be subject to Ms. Ioffe's unfair scrutiny." Ioffe responded to CBS News saying, "I think she's understandably upset that some dirty laundry came out, but I did my job." Ioffe's profile was widely praised. Following the article's publication, Ioffe received numerous anti-Semitic and threatening messages and calls from Trump supporters. In an interview, Trump said that Ioffe "provoked" the anti-Semitic abuse she later received with her article.
In May 2016, Ioffe became a contributing writer at Politico.In December 2016, Ioffe issued a tweet aimed at then-president elect Donald Trump for which she later apologized and deleted, describing it as "tasteless and offensive". Ioffe was subsequently dismissed from Politico The Atlantic subsequently announced that it was hiring Ioffe to cover national security, foreign policy, and politics, with editor in chief Jeffrey Goldberg describing her as "an indefatigable reporter". She joined The Atlantic in early 2017.