Rodriguez’s image shows a cartoon Trump holding a bloodied knife in his left hand with the statue’s head in his right, while blood drips onto the floor.
The caption “America First” accompanies the image on the cover of the weekly magazine. Trump used the phrase as a slogan during his campaign and said in his inaugural speech: “From this moment on, it’s going to be America first.”
Der Spiegel’s is just one of several recent controversial magazine covers to feature Trump’s image.
Trump ‘dividing Washington’
Brinkbäumer added that he believes Trump “wants to establish an illiberal democracy, or worse; he wants to undermine the balance of power.”
The White House did not immediately respond to CNN’s requests for a comment on the image.
Reaction to the Der Spiegel cover has been mixed. Some are praising the magazine for its stance, while others such as Alexander Graf Lambsdorff, a member of Germany’s Free Democrats (FDP) and vice president of the European Parliament, are calling it “tasteless.”
Strained US-German relations
The timing of the cover also comes amid strained relations between Berlin and Washington.
Last month, Trump accused German Chancellor Angela Merkel of making a “catastrophic mistake” with her open-door immigration policy.
This also is not the first time Der Spiegel has featured Trump on its front cover.
In November, it published an illustration of Trump as a meteor speeding toward Earth.
While that image attracted some attention, this latest effort by Rodriguez appears to have gone further.
He also drew a Trump illustration for the cover of Time Magazine during the 2016 campaign, without adding facial features.
White House ‘insurgent’
Der Spiegel is among several magazines recently to use illustrations to voice opinions on Trump’s policies.
The Economist also caused controversy with its front-page image of Trump throwing a Molotov cocktail along with the caption: “An insurgent in the White House.”
“It used to be that the Statue of Liberty, and her shining torch, was the vision that welcomed new immigrants,” Tomac told the magazine. “And, at the same time, it was the symbol of American values. Now it seems that we are turning off the light.”
Bloomberg Businessweek adorned its front cover with a photo showing Trump holding what appears to be an executive order.
But on the paper inside the folder, it says: “(Insert hastily drafted, legally dubious, economically destabilizing executive order here).”