Melania Trump has broken her silence over her much-criticized 2020 redesign of the White House Rose Garden.
NBC News presidential historian Michael Beschloss hinted at the horticultural work of the former first lady on Saturday. on Twitter when he marked the first anniversary of the “gutting” of the garden with a photo showing the less than spectacular result.
Twitter account “Melania Trump’s OfficeRefuted the assessment a day later with a photo that showed the garden, presumably post-renovation, with more colorful flowers visible.
In a tweet, the former first lady’s team claimed Beschloss had “proven ignorance by showing a photo of the rose garden in its early days.”
“His misleading information is dishonorable and you should never trust him as a professional historian,” the tweet read.
The “Office of Melania Trump” account is not verified, but The Hill reported that it was affiliated with the former first lady when it launched, and Trump herself retweeted the account from his own verified account at least twice.
Trump unveiled her redesign of the White House Rose Garden last August, just days before she gave a speech there at the 2020 Republican National Convention. The month-long project reportedly involved the culling of ‘trees, replacement of flower beds and installation of paved walkways, as well as modernization of drainage and irrigation systems.
“The garden will feel more open and sunnier but perhaps less interesting,” observed the Washington Post, which called the renovation “long overdue.”
Much like Trump’s sterile Christmas decor for the White House, however, the Rose Garden’s new look has drawn heavy criticism online. In the fall, it gained a new reputation by becoming the site of a COVID-19 “superspreader” event in honor of Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett.
In April, an online petition calling on First Lady Jill Biden to restore the White House Rose Garden – which has long been associated with former First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy – was launched. As of Monday, the petition had collected more than 80,000 signatures.
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