Was Ivanka Trump telling the truth in Lego White House anecdote?

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President’s daughter has been accused of self-plagiarism, but photographic evidence may back her up

Ivanka Trump has been accused of self-plagiarism at the Republican national convention after her heartwarming Lego anecdote sounded strikingly familiar – but there may be more to her story than she has been given credit for.

On Thursday she said: “When Jared and I moved with our three children to Washington, we didn’t exactly know what we were in for. But our kids loved it from the start. My son Joseph promptly built grandpa a Lego replica of the White House. The president still displays it on the mantel in the Oval Office and shows it to world leaders, just so they know he has the greatest grandchildren on earth.”

People observed the similarity to a story that Ivanka Trump had told previously about herself. Andrea Bernstein, a WNYC reporter who wrote the book American Oligarchs about the Trumps, noted that in 2007 Ivanka said she had once made a Lego model of Trump Tower for her father, only to have it criticised by him several days later because it wasn’t accurate enough. Bernstein also cast doubt about the veracity of the earlier story.

There is, however, photographic evidence that, as recently as March 2019 at least, there was a Lego model of the White House in the White House.

And the president has even posed with it.

It doesn’t look to be the official Lego replica of the White House available as part of its Architecture series, aimed more at adults than children. Although there is a previous smaller Lego version of the White House which it resembles. The model is slightly out of date, as it does not feature Melania Trump’s much-maligned remodelled rose garden.

The first lady also had her social media moment in the spotlight on the final night of the convention, wearing a dress that easily allowed her to be “green-screened”. The internet soon went to work and before long she appeared variously to be endorsing Joe Biden, the nation’s coronavirus death toll, and the weather.

If there were an award for awkward moment of the night, it would have to go to this exchange between Ivanka and Melania Trump. There had been reports this week that Stephanie Winston Wolkoff taped the first lady making “harsh comments” about her fellow Trumps.

Still, no social media mirth could distract from the fact Republicans had dished up four days filled with apocalyptic predictions for the US should the country not re-elect Donald Trump, in a series of speeches littered with falsehoods, many delivered by members of his family.

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