Portrait Of The Ex-President That Went Missing When He Vacated The WH Was Found By NYT In The “Bowels” Of Trump-Owned Hotel, Next To Old Yoga Mats

There's just so much to unpack here...

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This week, the New York Times reported on a rather… Strange development with regard to the issue of several gifts Donald Trump received from foreign governments and entities throughout his presidency that conveniently went missing after his rather tumultuous departure from the White House in 2021.

Among the foreign gifts in question was an obnoxiously ginormous painting of Donald J. Trump himself that was commissioned from a Salvadoran artist and gifted to the 45th president by El Salvador’s president, Nayib Bukele, during Trump’s final year in office.

The “larger-than-life” portrait of Donald Trump was 1 of approximately 100 gifts from foreign governments, with a collective value of more than $250,000, that suspiciously went missing from the White House around the same time that the Trump vacated the Executive Mansion, and was mentioned in a report released by Democrats on the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability, as the issue of Trump’s presidential gifts from foreign governments has sparked a heated debate in Washington over the laws and ethics in the United States surrounding presidential gifts.

However, that previously missing, extremely bizarre painting has now been located by the New York Times, and Donald Trump’s apparent chosen storage place for the ginormous portrait is genuinely even more downright weird than we were prepared for.

The Times reports:

In the bowels of the Trump National Doral hotel in Miami, in a small space leading to electrical rooms, an enormous portrait of the 45th president of the United States rests on a piece of deteriorating purple-colored foam.
Stored next to a stack of old yoga mats, the former president’s portrait sits underneath a halogen light and the metal sheen of air ducts, propped between two doors with placards that read ‘ELECTRICAL ROOM No Storage.’
The tiny room is overwhelmed by the grandiose portrait, standing about eight feet tall and featuring a grinning Donald J. Trump.”

NYT just so happened to sort of luck into discovering the painting after they completed a profile on the Salvadoran artist, 59-year-old Francisco Antonio López Benavides, who painted it. Following that profile, the newspaper was contacted via email by a reader who claimed to have seen that portrait at the Trump-owned hotel in Miami way back in October.

“The reader, who requested anonymity so he would not be barred from future visits to the hotel, said that he and his son had attended a golf tournament last fall at the Doral and decided to have a peek around the grandiose property,” the publication reports. “They began opening up random doors to discover ornate ballrooms, marble-clad hallways, and wooden furniture with golden filigree.”

“When they pulled back another gold-handled door, they discovered Mr. Trump, or his painted likeness anyway, standing in the Oval Office.”

As a result of the tip, the Times sent one of its reporters to the Trump-owned property in an attempt to try to track down the painting and verify that it was still there, in the same dusty, bizarre spot it was when a hotel guest happened to spot it.

It was.

“Yes, there it was, next to yoga mats piled up to one side and collecting dust,” the report reads. “The purple foam patch the portrait is resting on, ostensibly to protect the gold frame, is starting to show some wear and tear, crumbling a bit onto the floor.”

Read the full report from the New York Times here.

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Featured image via Flickr/Gage Skidmore, under Creative Commons license 2.0

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