KEY POINTS

  • The historian said Melania 'eviscerated' the Rose Garden
  • The former first lady called the historian's credibility to question
  • A petition urges Jill Biden to restore the garden to 'its former glory'

Former first lady Melania Trump on Sunday slammed a presidential historian who said she “eviscerated” the White House Rose Garden following renovations she made last year. 

In a tweet published by Michael Beschloss over the weekend, the presidential historian for NBC News and a known critic of former president Donald Trump slammed Melania’s renovations, saying it made decades of American history “disappear.”

“Evisceration of White House Rose Garden was completed a year ago this month, and here was the grim result—decades of American history made to disappear,” he wrote, accompanying his post with a photo of the garden. 

The former first lady’s office later responded, blasting Beschloss’s remarks as “misleading” and “dishonorable.” The first lady also questioned his credibility as a professional historian. 

“@BeschlossDC has proven his ignorance by showing a picture of the Rose Garden in its infancy. The Rose Garden is graced with a healthy and colorful blossoming of roses. His misleading information is dishonorable and he should never be trusted as a professional historian,” Melania wrote. 

In Trump's final months in the White House, the former first lady ordered the controversial renovation of the Rose Garden, which included removing a flowerbed that Jackie Kennedy oversaw in the early 1960s as well as ten crab apple trees that lined the colonnade, according to The Independent

The project also included performing electrical upgrades for television appearances and installing a new walkway as an “act of expressing hope and optimism for the future,” Melania said during remarks to the Committee for the Preservation of the White House, The New York Times noted. 

The move, which occured as the country was facing its first wave of COVID-19 cases, was widely decried by many. It also led to the launching of an online petition urging current First Lady Jill Biden to restore the garden to its “former glory.”

“Jackie's legacy was ripped away from Americans who remembered all that the Kennedys meant to us.  We want Jill Biden and Doug Emhoff to take this on and restore the Rose Garden to Jackie's original design,” the petition read. 

Dr. Jill Biden, however, has indicated that she has no plans of renovating the Rose Garden despite the petition, according to her spokesperson Michael LaRosa. 

The Change.org petition has reached 82,111 signatures of its 150,000 goal as of Sunday, 8:25 PM EDT. 

White House Rose Garden The White House Rose Garden is pictured on August 22, 2020 after renovations. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images