President Donald J. Trump can not even have a portrait made without his opponents going into fits of rage and jealousy, and because Trump does things his own way, that adds fuel to the left to tirade over the lack of respect for the ‘way things are done in DC.’
BREAKING: The Smithsonian has revealed plans to soon unveil Trump’s official portrait.
We’ve contacted the director of the National Portrait Gallery and will start a petition to STOP these plans immediately. 🧵
— CALL TO ACTIVISM (@CalltoActivism) August 22, 2022
The reason for the temper tantrums about the media could be because Trump is going on offense and funding his own portrait. The street soldiers for the left are furious and calling for protests against the National Smithsonian over the move.
The timing of this announcement could not be worse. Putting Trump on a literal pedestal at THE SAME TIME the DOJ weighs an indictment is dangerous.
— CALL TO ACTIVISM (@CalltoActivism) August 22, 2022
“As with multiple other facets of former President Donald Trump’s political career, there’s something different taking place with the Smithsonian Institution’s National Portrait Gallery portraits of the former president and former first lady Melania Trump,” the Western Journal reported.
In other words, Trump is saying he will do things his own way. Why is that surprising to the left?
Instead of contributions for the portrait coming solely from individual donors, as was the case with former President Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama, Trump’s political action committee will pay for most of the portraits.
Smithsonian spokeswoman Linda St. Thomas said the museum received a $650,000 donation from the Save America PAC, Business Insider reported.
Listen to the sour grapes from NY Magazine reporting on the details of the payments:
“Upon further investigation, Trump hadn’t just developed a new appreciation for the arts. A Smithsonian official confirmed to Insider that the money will go toward portraits of Donald and Melania Trump for the National Portrait Gallery:
The contribution, which Trump’s Save America PAC disclosed without explanation in a Federal Election Commission filing Saturday, will “support the artists’ fees, shipping, framing, installation, and events,” Linda St. Thomas, a Smithsonian spokesperson, said.
“Two artists have been commissioned, one for each portrait. The names will be released closer to the reveal of the paintings,” St. Thomas said. “The creation of the portraits is underway. The timing of the artworks’ reveal not determined yet.” … St. Thomas noted that “all portraits of presidents at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery are paid for with private funds raised by the museum.”
This is accurate, but as the Washington Post notes, this is the first time a political organization has funded presidential portraits. Usually, the money comes from wealthy donors who know they’re giving the funds to put a painting in the National Portrait gallery:
In the past, those portraits have been funded by private donations, usually from the supporters of the outgoing administration. More than 300 donors — including Steven Spielberg, John Legend, and Chrissy Teigen — contributed to the $750,000 commission fees for the Obama portraits, which were painted by Kehinde Wiley and Amy Sherald, according to the Smithsonian. Donor lists for the Obamas’ and Bushes’ portraits did not include any political action committees.
So why does it hurt the left’s feelings so much that Trump’s PAC will pay for the portraits?
“The donation came in the form of a wire transfer last month. The remaining balance of the $100,000 required came from an undisclosed donor, Thomas said,” according to the Western Journal.
According to a Politico report about the portrait gives something away,
“The timeline for the creation is not yet known, and the artists’ names have not been made public. However, the portraits of former President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama were unveiled more than a year after Obama left office.
Since George H.W. Bush’s portrait, the Smithsonian has been raising money for commissions of outgoing presidential portraits. All presidential portraits in the National Portrait Gallery were paid for by private capital through the museum, St. Thomas said.
The Obama portraits made headlines at the time of their release for the contemporary style of artists Kehinde Wiley and Amy Sherald. Funded by private donors — including celebrities such as Steven Spielberg — they brought more than a million people to the National Portrait Gallery in their first year on display, according to The Washington Post.”
Could it be that Trump is paying for his own portraits because he can’t trust the museum and other artists?
“Two artists have been commissioned, one for each portrait. The names will be released closer to the reveal of the paintings,” St. Thomas said, according to Business Insider.
“The creation of the portraits is underway. The timing of the artworks’ reveal is not determined yet,” she said.
The donation is listed as a “charitable contribution” for the PAC, Business Insider reported.
Newsmax reported on the situation:
“Former President Donald Trump’s Save America political action committee largely will finance the portraits of the 45th president and first lady Melania Trump for the Smithsonian.”
Former President Donald Trump's Save America political action committee largely will finance the portraits of the 45th president and first lady Melania Trump for the Smithsonian. https://t.co/yLVMcF07u2 pic.twitter.com/scHJo2AJk7
— Newsmax (@newsmax) August 23, 2022
Adav Noti, the vice president, and legal director of the Campaign Legal Center said the donation was all above board, according to USA Today.
Noti said federal committees, including leadership PACs like Save America, are allowed to give money to charity.
The Federal Election Commission would only be interested in looking at whether the charity in question was some sort of front for the candidate.
“If not, “that’d pretty much be the end of the inquiry,” he said.