Melania Trump accused of turning White House garden into ‘tribute to herself’

A petition has been created urging changes made to the White House Rose Garden by former First Lady of the US Melania Trump to be undone.

According to reports, more than 40,000 people have signed the appeal published on Change.org that asks the current first First Lady, Jill Biden and Second Gentleman, Doug Emhoff to reverse the changes Mrs Trump made in August last year.

The appeal reads: “In 2019, Melania Trump had the cherry trees, a gift from Japan, removed as well as the rest of the foliage and replaced with a boring tribute to herself.”

It also claims the changes “ripped away” Jackie Kennedy’s legacy.

And added: “We want Jill Biden and Doug Emhoff to take this on and restore the Rose Garden to Jackie's original design.”

The petition is aiming to reach 50,000 signatures.

The White House Rose Garden is frequently used by US Presidents to make addresses and give speeches.

It was also the location of the famous so-called ‘superspreader event’ last year after which multiple members of the Trump administration became infected with COVID-19.

Former First Lady Jackie Kennedy oversaw a major renovation of the garden which was completed in 1962.

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In a statement in July, Trump’s administration said Melania’s redesign would return the Rose Garden to its original footprint.

However, the changes were met with heavy criticism as some of the colourful flowers featured in the garden were removed.

Among the criticisms of Melania’s redesign was the decision to remove 10 crabapple trees, which the petition has described as cherry trees.

Last year, the White House said the trees had not been destroyed but would be moved and replanted elsewhere on the grounds.

According to a fact check report by Reuters last year, some of the widely circulated claims about Melania’s redesign on social media were false.

The former First Lady was also blasted by social media users for proceeding with the garden renovation despite the ongoing pandemic and protests in the wake of the murder of George Floyd.

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