A large portrait of Donald Trump that was gifted to him when he was President of the United States was found this week in one of his hotels in Miami, just days after House Democrats highlighted the work in a report on his administration’s improper handling of foreign gifts, as per a report in the New York Times. The portrait, which was given to Mr Trump by Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele in November 2020, was characterised in the House Oversight Committee report as being “larger-than-life-sized”.
In the report, it was claimed that Mr Trump had neglected to disclose more than 100 expensive gifts from abroad that he had received while in office, some of which were still missing. The White House and the State Department received notice from El Salvador that the image was being sent, but the National Archives, which keeps track of foreign presents to the US Presidents, had no record of it. The painting went missing, but according to the report, “certain records suggest the portrait may have been moved to Florida in July 2021 as property of the former President.”
According to the New York Times, the eight-foot-tall painting could be found at the Trump National Doral hotel in Miami, propped up on used yoga mats outside an electrical room. When the outlet featured the Salvadoran artist Francisco Antonio Lopez Benavides who created the portrait, a reader contacted the publication with a tip. He said he saw the painting in October while attending a golf event at Miami’s Trump National Doral hotel. The unnamed man said he and his kid were visiting the luxurious property when they opened a random door with a gold handle and discovered the image of Mr Trump standing in the Oval Office.
According to US law, the State Department must be informed of any gifts the president or any other federal official receives from foreign governments that are worth more than $415. When an official leaves office, they must pay the cost of any presents they wish to keep.
In an interview with the outlet after the discovery, the artist said, “I am happy that the painting is intact, it is beautiful, precious. It is my greatest wish that everything will be better in the world and that this painting will be with President Trump, because it is a gift from my president, Nayib Bukele, and I am a part of it. We are all President Trump and President Bukele.”