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US First Lady Melania Trump has defended her choice of red Christmas trees after they inspired jokes and memes online.

The White House itself has already been decorated for the Christmas holiday, with wreaths adorning the building's facade, ruby red trees, and more traditional trees on the inside.

Trump then joined conservative television personality Eric Bolling for a panel discussion and took a few questions from the audience.

Made out of cranberries and other berries, the 40 "blood red" trees that line the East colonnade have divided opinion online, with people describing them as " terrifying" and looking like one of "the Circles of Hell".

She added: "I will always tell him that drugs - they could be very risky and they could mess up your mind and body, and to love yourself more than you love drugs".

"In real life they look even more handsome, and you are all very welcome to visit the White House - the 'people's house, '" she said.

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Melania Trump thinks the media should focus on important issues instead of wasting time mocking Christmas decorations.

She said: "Also, sometimes you need to fight back ― I'm sorry".

She also invited the crowd to come and view the trees for themselves. "In real life they look even more handsome and you are all very welcome to visit the White House, the people's house". And what does the media - I'm telling you, I can't believe this - what are they hung up on with the first lady right now?

"Talking about opioids and getting the message out, and what is the media... hung up on with the first lady now?"

President Donald Trump has called it a "national health emergency" and she says his administration is committed to fighting the opioid epidemic.