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Journalism: Reporters Demand to Know if Trump Grandson Built White House Lego Model After Ivanka Speech Remark

Posted on 28 August 2020

There’s an old saying in journalism, “If your mother says she loves you, check it out.” But sometimes that humorous reminder to verify stories can be taken to childish extremes. WNYC-FM/AM reporter Andrea Bernstein on Friday demanded the White House confirm Ivanka Trump’s remark at the beginning of her RNC speech on the South Lawn of the White House Thursday night that her then 3-year-old son Joseph built a Lego model of the White House by himself that President Trump displays in the Oval Office. Other reporters claimed the story was a lie, prompting a White House rebuke.

Ivanks said, “When Jared and I moved with our three young children to Washington, we didn’t exactly know what we were in for. But our kids, 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 mantle in the Oval Office right over there. So that he can show world leaders, just so they know he has the greatest grandchildren on earth. I agree.”

YouTube video cued to Ivanka’s Lego comment:

Ivanka posted a photo Friday morning of Joseph, the President and the Lego White House in the Oval Office.

Reporter Bernstein was triggered by the remark because she remembers Ivanka told a similar tale about herself building a Lego Trump Tower model that turned out to not be true.

“OMG, Ivanka is telling a story about her son Joseph building a lego model of the White House. She told the same story about herself once, building a lego Trump Tower. The story was made up. AMERICAN OLIGARCHS, P 176”

“Ivanka Trump has tweeted a photo of her son, Joseph, with his grandfather at the Resolute Desk with the Lego White House. I’ve asked the White House if 3-year old Joseph indeed built it of his own initiative, and if he had assistance. Will tweet reply if/when I get it.”

After a White House official Carolina Hurley told Bernstein they had not seen her inquiry, Bernstein responded, “Sent in a query this a.m: Did 3-year old Joseph in fact build a lego model of the White House of his own initiative? Did he have assistance? Ivanka Trump once told a story of how she had built a Lego model of Trump Tower at age eight, then acknowledged this was false.”

Bernstein posted the White House reply, “White House response: “Yes he did so on his own initiative, and completed it on his own.”

The media tried to turn this into a full-blown scandal:

Hurley rebuked the media, “I absolutely cannot believe that reporters are really trying to cast doubt on the validity of a 6 year old’s gift to his grandfather. Be better.”

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