Former New York Times reporter Kurt Eichenwald slammed first lady Melania Trump for renovating the White House Rose Garden saying on Saturday that he is “furious” she is “a foreigner,” sparking pushback from other journalists.
“It is a destruction of our history, something no other First Lady would have had the gall to do,” Eichenwald, a New York Times bestselling author, tweeted on Saturday, “This is the first time I have been furious that @FLOTUS is a foreigner. She has no right to wreck our history.”Whoops! We couldn’t access this Tweet.
Eichenwald, who later tweeted an apology, made the comments reacting from a tweet from the first lady on Saturday, which featured photos of the renovations
“Excited to honor history & celebrate the future in our beautiful @WhiteHouse Rose Garden this evening,” Trump tweeted. “Thank you to all who helped renew this iconic & truly gorgeous space.”
Melania Trump, who grew up in Slovenia and became a U.S. citizen in 2006, posted the tweet on the same day the work on the garden, which took three weeks to complete, was showcased to reporters.
A view of the restored Rose Garden is seen at the White House in Washington, Saturday, Aug. 22, 2020. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
Melania Trump has been overseeing a redesign of the Rose Garden to restore it to its original 1962 blueprint dating back to the Kennedy administration.
“The very act of planting a garden involves hard work and hope in the possibility of a bright future,” she said in a statement last month. “Preserving the history and beauty of the White House and its grounds is a testament to our nation’s commitment to the care of this landscape and our dedication to American ideals, safeguarding them for our children and their children for generations to come.”
Eichenwald, who spent two decades as a senior writer at The New York Times, also tweeted on Saturday, “I still find it unbelievable that @FLOTUS who has only been a citizen since the middle of GW Bush’s second term had the audacity to wreck the Rose Garden, to pull up history dating back a lifetime.”
“These trashy, evil, stupid people need to get out of our house,” he continued. “What GALL she has.”Whoops! We couldn’t access this Tweet.
Mehdi Hasan, a journalist who is a senior columnist at online news publication The Intercept and host on the Al Jazeera network, reacted to that tweet writing, “This is a horrible anti-immigrant take, Kurt, and you should delete it and apologize.”
CNN Anchor Jake Tapper agreed with Hasan writing in a tweet, “This is xenophobic and wrong. It’s bigotry.
Eichenwald added in another tweet responding to some of the criticism that, “Someone who has only been a citizen for less than 1/3 of her life should be reverent to America’s history, should honor our history, not decide her personal taste should rip it up.”
But eventually, the angry scribe deleted his tweets and replaced them with a two-tweet mea culpa.
“People may have misunderstood my point about Melania being a foreigner & ripping up plants put in place by almost 100 years of First Ladies,” he tweeted. “It was a complex point & I was wrong to say it. My point was, people who come to America should celebrate its history, not ignore it. But I deleted the tweets. I did not have the ill-intent they seemed to have conveyed to so many. I should be more careful in what those types of words seem to imply. We all fail in our words at times, this was one of my times. I apologize.”
A spokesperson for Melania Trump did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment regarding Eichenwald’s tweets.
A view of the restored Rose Garden is seen at the White House in Washington, Saturday, Aug. 22, 2020. First Lady Melania Trump will deliver her Republican National Convention speech Tuesday night from the garden, famous for its close proximity to the Oval Office. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
The Rose Garden is an “iconic” location where presidents host events and even press briefings, the first lady’s team said. The renovations included “improved Americans with Disabilities Act accessibility, utilities, and support for audiovisual and broadcasting needs that will allow for the continued enjoyment of the garden’s natural beauty,” her team said.
The three weeks of work on the Rose Garden, which was done in the spirit of its original 1962 design, were showcased to reporters on Saturday. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
On Tuesday night, Melania Trump is expected to deliver her Republican National Convention speech from the Rose Garden, which is famous for its close proximity to the Oval Office.