Over the weekend, first lady Melania Trump held an event to celebrate the 102nd birthday of the National Park Service (NPS) at the White House.
In the event, which was attended by representatives of the United State’s spectacular public lands, the FLOTUS thanked the federal agency for its “commitment to this country.”
However, on the other hand, President Donald Trump didn’t appear to reciprocate the commitment or acknowledge the efforts of the agency in safeguarding the heritage of the American people for years.
In fact, the commander-in-chief has clashed with the NPS right from the start of his presidency and continued to do so ever since.
For instance, after his inauguration, the POTUS was adamant that millions of people attended the ceremony and lambasted the media for lying about his inauguration crowd numbers.
In a desperate attempt to support his claims, Trump personally called the head of the NPS and asked for photographic evidence that would somehow show the attendance was historically large – or at least bigger than the crowd that attended former President Barack Obama’s inauguration.
But, unfortunately for the former business mogul, the agency failed to inflate the crowd to the president’s view of reality and subsequently became a target of the POTUS’s wrath.
Moreover, Trump also conflicted with the agency on policy matters when his administration worked to open up public lands to mining and fossil fuel extraction.
Towards the end of the last year, the commander-in-chief gutted the size of the Bears Ears National Monument in Utah by some 1.1 million acres – the largest-ever reduction of a national monument in the country’s history. It was also announced the Grand Staircase-Escalante, another national monument in Utah, would be considerably reduced in size.
It was later revealed the motive behind making such monumental changes was to open public lands to private logging, drilling and mining operations.
Earlier this year, the majority of the agency’s advisory board members resigned out of frustration over claims that Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke refused to meet with them.
The Washington Post obtained the emails revealing the board members “worried Zinke was sidelining them as he reviewed the work of more than 200 outside committees to make sure they reflected the Trump team’s priorities.”
The president’s dismal record on public lands just goes to imply how FLOTUS’ tribute to the agency rings hollow.
Unsurprisingly, Twitter users were quick to point out the irony.
Are you talking about same Parks service that was punished for telling the truth about the inauguration crowd size?— Ryan Graney (@RyanEGraney) August 25, 2018
Your sentiment falls flat when you do everything to remove protections and funding FOR our national park services!— ??#BlueWavesAndSunnyInJax????? (@SunnyInJax) August 25, 2018
Didn’t your husband @realDonaldTrump slash the National Parks & several monuments last year, so oil & mineral companies can make more money at the expense of nature & history? So happy 102 @NatlParkService , hope you survive to see 103, right?!?! #MAGAMahttps://t.co/pVRXB7D19E— Jamal M Edwards (@JamalMEdwards) August 25, 2018
Funny, but your husbands 2 monstrous and dopey Secretary picks for the EPA and the Interior, plus his “DE-REGULATION” addictions, make this tweet seem like this is from a parody account. #EnvironmentalFraud#ClimateDeniers— AnuradhaSharmaMagee (@eastwest6566) August 25, 2018
You wish them Happy Birthday as, your husband dismantles the national park system with pollution deregulations, selling them for profit to rape natural resources, and punishing them for telling the truth about his less then stellar crowd size at his inauguration.— Tim Allen (@TLA123) August 25, 2018
National Parks that your husband is trying to gut. Seizing part of the land that belongs to all of us.— peaceprincess (@peaceprincess29) August 25, 2018
However, this isn’t the first time the FLOTUS and POTUS don’t appear to be on the same page.
Melania has repeatedly vowed to use her platform in the White House to condemn cyberbullying. However, her pledges seem nothing but blatant hypocrisy considering she's married to perhaps the most powerful bully in the world.
Banner Image Credits: REUTERS/Chris Wattie