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Melania Trump Faces Backlash for Rose Garden Renovation: 'She Cut Down Jackie's Trees!'

RNC takeaways night 2: Melania Trump speaks of 'harsh reality' of racial unrest, Pompeo stirs controversy

Melania Trump Faces Backlash for Rose Garden Renovation: 'She Cut Down Jackie's Trees!'



https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/melania-trump-faces-backlash-for-rose-garden-renovation-she-cut-down-jackies-trees/ar-BB18hK2A



First Lady Melania Trump faced backlash from social media users on Saturday, as photos of her completed Rose Garden refurbishment initiative sparked a range of objections online.
The Rose Garden is a White House relic, originally commissioned for landscaping renewal in the early 1960s, during John F. Kennedy's presidency. Jackie Kennedy oversaw the garden's construction during her time as first lady and is often associated with its design and legacy.


Melania Trump's renovation, which she said aimed to restore some of the Kennedys' original vision, removed much of the foliage and color that became characteristic of the space.


"Can we talk about how Jackie Kennedy's Rose Garden was colorful and diverse and beautiful and Melania just made it... white?" one Twitter user wrote in response to photos of the renovation that surfaced on Saturday. The remark echoed many that noted the garden's sparing appearance and primarily white palette.
— Santiago Mayer (@santiagomayer_) August 22, 2020
Melania Trump has 'renovated' the Rose Garden in the White House (photo on the left) that was originally designed by Jackie Kennedy as a tribute to her husband John (photo on the right). Melania killed it- literally. Stone cold heart. #MelaniaRuinsEverything @FLOTUS pic.twitter.com/tYYj1xjSUn


— Designers Against AIDS by Beauty without Irony (@_DAA) August 23, 2020
Dear @JoeBiden ,
America is heartbroken over what Melania did to Jackie Kennedy's Rose Garden.😢💔
I know you'll have a lot on your plate, but when you move in, can you please put it back the way it was?❤❤❤ pic.twitter.com/AVxmWnKEmf
— Daphne L Portis🌊✈🇺🇸 (@MissLynneNYC) August 22, 2020
"Melania tearing out Jackie Kennedy's trees and building tennis courts," another displeased Twitter user wrote.


"Here is the colorful, happy Rose Garden under Obama, and here is Melania's unveiling of the new garden, entirely devoid of color or joy," said author Jennifer Wright in a caption beside her own before-and-after comparison.


"She cut down Jackie's trees!" Republican strategist and political commentator Ana Navarro-Cárdenas of the renovation, saying she hopes Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden "returns [the Rose Garden] to the way it was."
This woman.
In March, as Pandemic began, it was a tennis pavilion.
Now, as 175,000 -and climbing- American lives and millions of livelihoods have been lost, she unveils new & NOT improved Rose Garden.
She cut down Jackie’s trees!


I hope @DrBiden returns it to the way it was. https://t.co/zHC8wb0WRc
— Ana Navarro-Cárdenas (@ananavarro) August 23, 2020
The completed renovation came just days before this year's Republican National Convention is due to commence. Much of the convention will be held virtually, in light of concerns about the coronavirus, with President Donald Trump set to accept the GOP Party's official reelection nomination from the White House lawn. The first lady is scheduled to deliver a speech backing her husband's nomination from the Rose Garden on Tuesday.
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Photos of the Rose Garden's reconstruction results prompted an outpouring of criticisms that likened her to Marie Antoinette, the last queen of France whose disregard for national poverty leading up to the French Revolution is notoriously remembered, by some accounts, with the phrase, "let them eat cake."
The hashtag "Marie Antoinette" trended on Twitter shortly after photos of the Rose Garden began to circulate, as it did when Melania Trump first announced the renovation initiative last month. People pointed out that the White House is dedicating resources to a decorative project while millions of U.S. residents grapple with unemployment and illness during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Some social media users suggested the garden's renovation was "a waste of taxpayer money," but the White House previously said "private donors" funded the project, not the general public.


Newsweek reached out to Stephanie Grisham, the first lady's chief of staff, for comments but did not receive a reply in time for publication.


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Gallery: Melania Trump unveils her renovations to the White House Rose Garden (Daily Mail)


Melania Trump standing in front of a flower garden: Melania Trump unveiled her renovations to the White House Rose Garden on Saturday, completed in time for her to make her case for her husband's re-election when she speaks from there Tuesday night at the Republican National Convention. Paid for by private donations, the first lady returned the garden to its roots, honouring the original design by Bunny Mellon, made at the request of President John F. Kennedy in 1962.




RNC takeaways night 2: Melania Trump speaks of 'harsh reality' of racial unrest, Pompeo stirs controversy



https://www.msn.com/en-xl/northamerica/top-stories/rnc-takeaways-night-2-melania-trump-speaks-of-harsh-reality-of-racial-unrest-pompeo-stirs-controversy/ar-BB18nnM0



Donald Trump has cultivated an image as a man of tough words and quick action, someone who’s not afraid to bruise feelings. But Republicans Tuesday tried to portray a softer Trump, one who cares about the little guy: the lobsterman in Maine, the dairy farmer from Wisconsin, the police office from New Mexico.


"More than any president in my lifetime, he's acknowledged the importance of farmers and agriculture," said Cris Peterson, a dairy farmer struggling until Trump's policies helped turn her business around.


It was a shift in tone from Monday when speeches were laced with dark imagery about what might happen if Joe Biden is elected president. Still,Tuesday had it’s negative moments – former Florida attorney general Pam Bondi going after Biden’s integrity and Eric Trump Jr. attacking the “radical Democrats” who want to destroy the nation.


But this turned into an opportunity to portray the president as possessing the one quality his critics accuse him of lacking: empathy. One of the most notable moments came during a taped appearance from the White House where he signed a pardon to Jon Ponder, founder of Hope For Prisoners, a Las Vegas-based organization that helps ex-prisoners re-enter society.


"Today, I’m filled with hope," said Ponder, at one point appearing to choke up. "I have been given a second chance."


The closing speech of the evening was delivered by first lady Melania Trump, who talked about her "Be Best" anti-bullying campaign, weighed in on the issue of racial unrest and said her husband has "America .. in his heart."


Melania Trump describes her husband as an 'authentic person'
First lady Melania Trump rarely speaks publicly so her keynote address Tuesday was already going to be must-see TV.


Speaking at a White House Rose Garden whose renovation she oversaw, Trump’s speech came a little over a week after Michelle Obama’s searing indictment of President Trump during the Democratic National Convention.


Melania Trump described her husband as an "authentic person" who loves the country and wants to make it better. The Slovenian-born first lady spoke confidently about the “freedoms and opportunities” her adopted country has afforded her, her ‘Be Best’ initiative to prevent children from being bullied, and the importance of recognizing the power of women.


“We must make sure women are heard and the American dream continues to thrive,” she said to a crowd of supporters who gathered to listen to her speech.


She also offered her views on racial divisions in the country.
“Like all of you. I have reflected on the racial unrest in our country. It is a harsh reality that we are not proud of parts of our history,” she said.


The first lady urged the nation to come together, learn from one another and "work together for a better tomorrow for everyone.”


“I encourage people to focus on our future, while still learning from our past. We must remember that today we are all one community comprised of many races, religions and ethnicities. Our diverse and storied history is what makes our country strong, and yet we still have so much to learn from one another,” she said.


"I also ask people to stop the violence and looting being done in the name of justice and never make assumptions based on the color of a person's skin,” the first lady said.


She recognized the sacrifices soldiers and their families make to serve the country, the courage of the sick children she’s met at hospitals around the world, and the perseverance of victims of natural disasters – and their “unwavering resolve to help one another.”


And she praised her husband as a doer on issues including school choice, opioid addiction and race relations.


The president's not a traditional politician, she said, but “he loves this country and he knows how to get things done … He demands actions and he gets results.”


Eric, Tiffany Trump rally around the president 
Two of the president's children rallied around their father Tuesday, offering remarks that sought to attract support from younger Americans and voters who backed Trump in 2016, saying their father's fight isn't over. 


Tiffany Trump, a recent Georgetown Law School graduate who rarely makes public appearances, highlighted her father's criticisms of the media, censorship online and her father's "relentless" fighting spirit. She made a simple plea: "I urge you to make judgement based on results and not rhetoric," highlighting some of his accomplishments over his first term. 


"If you tune into the media, you get one biased opinion or another," she said. "Rather than allowing Americans the right to form our own beliefs, this misinformation system keeps people mentally enslaved to the ideas they deem correct. This has fostered unnecessary fear and divisiveness amongst us."
Eric Trump, who helps manage his father's company – the Trump Organization – chronicled his father's campaign in 2016 and win. He highlighted the president's policies and culture divide between Republicans and Democrats. 


"This is the fight that we are in right now and it is a fight that only my father can win," he said. "My father ran, not because he needed the job, but because he knew hardworking people across this great country were being left behind."


He also delivered a personal message to his father, noting that while he missed working with him each day, "I’m damn proud to be on the front lines of this fight. I am proud of what you are doing for this country."


Eric Trump closed by acknowledging the recent loss of Robert Trump, the president's brother. "Dad, let’s make Uncle Robert very proud."
The embrace of Trump by family members at the convention comes in the aftermath of a scathing tell-all book written by Trump's niece, Mary Trump, and the release of secretly recorded conversations in which Trump's sister, Maryanne Trump Barry, criticized him as a "liar" with "no principles. None."


Covington teen Nick Sandmann bashes media 'war machine' 
Nick Sandmann, the Kentucky teen who became part of a social media firestorm last year when he was filmed facing off with activist Nathan Phillips outside the Lincoln Memorial, delivered a scathing review of the news media – a frequent target of the Trump.


Sandmann, then 16, had taken a trip with his Covington Catholic High School class to Washington, D.C., for the Right to Life March in January 2019. 


He and Phillips, who is Native American, were captured on videos that went viral in January when they stood facing each other on the National Mall. Sandmann stared at Phillips as Phillips participated in a song with other Native Americans.


Twitter exploded with accusations of racism and privilege. News outlets like the Washington Post, NBC, CNN and the USA TODAY Network began reporting the story.


He said the media's portrayal of footage of the incident, which showed him in a red Make America Great Again, turned him into "the latest poster child showing why Trump is bad."


"What I thought was a strange encounter, quickly developed into a major news story complete with video footage," Sandmann said. "My life changed forever in that one moment. The full war machine of the mainstream media revved up into attack mode. They did so without ever researching the full video of the incident; without ever investigating Mr. Philips’ motives; or without ever asking me for my side of the story."


After the incident, Nick sued several media outlets over their coverage of the incident, claiming they defamed him. He settled lawsuits with CNN and the Washington Post for undisclosed amounts. He has sued five other news companies, including Gannett, which owns USA TODAY.​


Mike Pompeo speaks from Israel
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's appearance at the convention became a pivotal moment even before he spoke.


His address, breaking diplomatic protocol and perhaps the State Department's own policy on engaging in partisan political activity, was delivered from Jerusalem where he highlighted the president's work and promises kept on the world stage, including moving the U.S. embassy in Israel to the city. American support for Israel is a galvanizing issue for evangelical voters, a crucial base of support for the GOP.  


"President Trump has put his America First vision into action. It may not have made him popular in every foreign capital, but it has worked," Pompeo said before listing off Trump's work with China, North Korea and in the Middle East over his term.


The backlash over Pompeo's role in the convention is not likely to cease after Tuesday, even though he wasn't introduced as the secretary of state. The State Department said Pompeo was addressing the RNC in his "personal capacity" but his remarks revolved around policy and the very issues in which Pompeo has played a leading role. 


Rep. Joaquin Castro, a top Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, opened a probe into Pompeo's decision, saying he has "a gross disregard" for ethics rules and "a blatant willingness to violate federal law for political gain."


Faith and abortion take center stage
Republicans thrust faith and abortion into the spotlight Tuesday, portraying Democrats as a threat to freedom of religion. 


Cissie Graham Lynch, the granddaughter of legendary evangelist Billy Graham, praised Trump's appointments of conservative judges to the federal bench and said he stood up for religious freedoms.


"Our Founders did not envision a quiet, hidden faith. They fought to ensure that voices of faith were always welcomed, not silenced. Not bullied," she said, saying under Democratic control, "whether you're a baker, a florist, or a football coach, they will force the choice between being obedient to God, or to Caesar."
Abby Johnson, an anti-abortion activist who formerly worked at Planned Parenthood, told of her time working for the women's reproductive heath care organization, telling the story of what led her to become a pro-life activist after helping with an abortion. 


"For me, abortion’s real. I know what it sounds like, what it smells like. I’ve been the perpetrator to these babies, to these women," she said. "Life is a core tenet of who we are as Americans.".


Speaker removed from RNC lineup over QAnon tweet 
Trump was expecting to get a heartfelt boost for his border security policies from the mother of a Mesa, Arizona, police officer killed by an undocumented immigrant six years ago.


But Mary Ann Mendoza sent an incendiary tweet earlier Tuesday promoting a debunked, anti-Semitic conspiracy from the right-wing movement QAnon.


The tweet, linking to a thread from @WarNuse, claimed that the Rothschilds, a wealthy Jewish banking family from Germany, were involved in global plots over centuries, including the sinking of the Titanic and the assassination of President John Kennedy, to prevent non-Jews from accumulating power and money.


As a result of the backlash, the Trump campaign removed the video featuring Mendoza's remarks from their convention lineup shortly before it was set to air.


QAnon is a baseless conspiracy theory that alleges that there is a "deep state" run by political elites, business leaders and Hollywood celebrities with ties to a child sex trafficking ring. In addition to claiming that "deep state" members are pedophiles, the theory insists that they are actively working against President Donald Trump. 


The online movement started in the fall of 2017 on internet message boards, with posts from a self-proclaimed government insider who calls himself “Q.”


The episode highlighted what critics describe as an unsettling relationship between Trump and QAnon. Trump last week said he didn't know much about the movement but welcomed support from it followers, adding that he heard they "like me very much" and "love our country."
Trump has praised Marjorie Taylor Greene, a GOP House candidate in Georgia who is a QAnon supporter as a “future Republican Star."


Mendoza apologized for her tweet, saying she had not read the entire thread and it "does not reflect my feelings or personal thoughts whatsoever."


She founded Angel Families, an organization that advocates for tougher immigration policies. Her son, Mesa Police Sgt. Brandon Mendoza was killed by an illegal immigrant who was drunk on May 12, 2014, in a head-on collision on his way home from work.


Mendoza is a long-time Trump supporter, having spoken at his rallies in Phoenix, during the 2016 campaign. She also spoke at the 2016 Republican National Convention.


This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: RNC takeaways night 2: Melania Trump speaks of 'harsh reality' of racial unrest, Pompeo stirs controversy

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