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Here's the $20K Trump Portrait He Bought With Charity Funds

'Speed painter' releases first public photos of painting whipped up in 6 minutes
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 2, 2016 9:31 AM CDT

(Newser) – A tweet from Washington Post reporter David Fahrenthold offered a first glimpse to the masses Tuesday of something that's long been reported but not yet seen: the portrait of Donald Trump that Trump bought for $20,000 using money meant for his Trump Foundation charity. Artist Michael Israel, a "speed painter" who the Post says whipped up the 6-foot-tall depiction in "five or six frenzied minutes" during a 2007 charity gala at Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida, released the public pics of the painting for the first time Tuesday. Melania Trump initially bid $10,000 during the event's auction, then was cajoled into doubling that; half the proceeds went to Israel, half to the children's charity the event was being held for.

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And those well versed in tax law say if that now-elusive painting is hanging in either one of Trump's homes or businesses, he could be breaking "self-dealing" laws. The only hint as to where the painting may be: Israel's former manager, who revealed in September that he was told by Melania to send the painting to a Trump golf club in Westchester, NY, where she planned to display it in "the boardroom or the conference room." The Hill notes that Trump paid $10,000 funneled from the Trump Foundation for another portrait of himself in 2004, with an eyewitness saying that painting is on display in Trump's National Doral Miami resort. (Meanwhile, a nude painting of Trump has caused quite a ruckus.)

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