Here's the story of Donald Trump's 6-foot-tall painting, paid for by his foundation - Michael Israel

Here’s the story of Donald Trump’s 6-foot-tall painting, paid for by his foundation

Michael Israel Art Studios Statement

The Washington Post recently revealed that the Donald J. Trump Foundation had spent $20,000 on a 6-foot-tall portrait of Donald Trump (along with $12,000 for a signed Tim Tebow football helmet), items that if not used for charitable purposes may violate federal tax law. The portrait in particular raised some eyebrows, and some questions, and even made it into President Obama’s pitch for Hillary Clinton on Tuesday:

On Wednesday night, The Post’s David A. Fahrenthold had an update on the portrait — including who painted it, who bid $20,000 for it, and maybe even where it is now. The short version is that a Florida charity called Children’s Place at Home Safe held a fundraiser at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in November 2007, featuring speed-painter Michael Israel, who painted portraits of Trump, golfer Paula Creamer, John Lennon, and a firefighter; auctioneer David Schall then auctioned them off.

Melania Trump and Creamer were bidding on the Trump portrait, and Creamer dropped out when the price got to $10,000; Schall convinced Melania Trump to bid against herself, “and there we were at $20,000,” he told The Post. “Big round of applause, and everybody was excited.” Melania instructed Israel assistant Jody Young to send the painting to the Trump National Golf Club Westchester in Briarcliff Manor, New York — where Fahrenthold says he suspects it may still be (the club turned away a Post reporter).

In the end, the charity and Israel each got $10,000 of the money the Trump Foundation paid for the painting (2007 was the last year Trump put any of his own money into his foundation, according to tax records). That’s a tidy sum for art and charity, but “it really wasn’t a lot,” Schall told The Post, recalling that an Israel portrait of Warren Buffett sold for more than $100,000. Things get dicy with the payment coming from the Trump Foundation, and you can read more about the legalities, and the details, at The Washington Post. Peter Weber

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  • Ethan Marek

    Michael Israel Art Studios Statement

    Trump Painting Saves Abused Women and Children!

    Michael Israel, a famous speed painter, is renowned for using his art to bring attention and money to worthy causes.

    Surrounding the now famous Trump painting, on the night in question, 5 artworks were painted on stage then auctioned to benefit Home Safe, a charity that prevents and protects women, children, and infants from abuse. 5 artworks painted, 6 artworks SOLD! Melania Trump won the bid for a portrait of Donald.

    The controversy? Home Safe charity was paid with a Trump Foundation check. If the Trumps kept the painting for themselves, for instance, in their home, it would be self-serving. It is our understanding the mission of charitable foundations is to give money to help charities. They did! The money paid for the painting did help prevent and protect children and women from abuse. Now with all the media attention, the artwork’s place in history is assured and it is likely an excellent artwork investment for the Trump Foundation (If the Foundation kept it) or any charity the Trump Foundation might have donated it to!

    A personal message to Donald and Melania Trump,

    THANK YOU for your support of Home Safe… and my work! I have more for sale 😉

    Live in Color!

    Michael Israel

    P.S. – President Obama and Hillary Clinton have talked about my 6-ft painting… I wonder if they would like me to paint a 6-ft portrait for them too! If you speak with either, please let them know they might get a deal on my work at a sanctioned charity event or a painting can be commissioned at my standard rate by contacting my studio michaelisrael.com

    P.P.S. I am thrilled my art has once again hit the world’s stage! I am thrilled it has made more of a positive difference in people’s lives than simply matching the couch. I am dismayed but unfortunately not surprised it is being used to make negative statements as well.

    P.P.P.S. My art is pro-America and hugely patriotic! I paint tributes to Freedom, First Responders, Police, Military, and important causes!

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