Ivanka Trump said her son built a Lego replica of the White House for her father. She told a similar story about herself 13 years ago.
Ivanka Trump told a story in her Republican National Convention speech Thursday night about her son gifting the president a Lego replica of the White House for President Donald Trump.
Andrea Bernstein, a WNYC reporter who wrote a book about the Trump family, said that Ivanka had told a similar story about her building a Lego Trump Tower for her father.
That story turned out to be made up.
Ivanka also said the president keeps it on the Oval Office mantelpiece and shows it off to world leaders.
She posted a photo of her son posing with the Lego set with her father. It doesn't appear to be on the mantelpiece, and it doesn't appear to be in a spot where it's previously been photographed in the Oval Office.
In her speech introducing her father at the Republican National Convention on Thursday, Ivanka Trump told a story about her son gifting the president a Lego replica of the White House.
Video: How Republican convention speeches have changed over the years
"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," the White House presidential adviser said. "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."
The story resembles another one Ivanka Trump has told about herself, as Andrea Bernstein, a WNYC reporter, said on Twitter. According to "American Oligarchs," a book Bernstein wrote about the Trump and Kushner families, Ivanka said in a 2007 interview with Conan O'Brien that she'd built a Lego replica of Trump Tower for her dad. She also said her brothers had contradicted her, each of them claiming to have built the Lego tower.
—Andrea Bernstein (@AndreaWNYC) August 28, 2020
Bernstein also said the story was plagiarized from "The Art of the Deal," President Donald Trump's best-selling book ghostwritten by Tony Schwartz.
Schwartz told Bernstein that the story was probably made up.
"There is a considerably less than fifty-percent chance that anything like that ever happened," he told Bernstein, according to "American Oligarchs."
In her 2009 book "The Trump Card," Ivanka acknowledged the story was fake.
Ivanka Trump's son did seem to make a Lego White House, but it's not clear where it is now
Ivanka Trump's son did indeed appear to build a Lego White House. (The exact model is no longer available.) She posted a photo of him posting with it and the president on social media, following the initial publication of this story.
But it doesn't appear to be true that her father "still displays it on the mantel in the Oval Office and shows it to world leaders."
Recent images of the fireplace mantel in the Oval Office do not show any such Lego set. Here's one from a week ago, when Trump hung out with Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi:
Lots of statues. No Lego White Houses.
Bloomberg News's White House editor Alex Wayne tweeted that none of his outlet's reporters have ever seen the Lego White House. In fact, in March 2019, the replica stood on a table behind where Trump sits at the Resolute desk.
More recent photos don't show the Lego White House in the Oval Office now. It's not clear where it is.
Here's a photo from July 20, 2020, of Trump standing behind the Resolute desk. Behind him, you can see some of the same framed family photos visible in the March 2019 photo resting on the table. Other family photos have been added, but the White House replica doesn't seem to be there anymore:
Ivanka has been accused of violating the Hatch Act by speaking at the RNC event hosted on the White House South Lawn. The law bars federal employees, excluding the president and vice president, from engaging in political activities, including campaigning, with federal resources.
Her office told the Associated Press that she had been approved to speak at the convention in her personal capacity as Trump's daughter rather than her White House advisory role, although she spoke about the Trump administration's work throughout her speech.
This article has been updated.
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