NBC News found that other entities had used the images before the president took office, but no income from the Getty licensing deal is listed in financial disclosures prior to 2017. But Mahaux’s images appeared in other rather prominent places:
In August 2016, Mahaux’s portrait of then-candidate Trump and his wife was featured in the official Republican National Convention guide book that was given to each delegate. Campaign finance records show the money to pay for the guide came from political donations to the Republican National Committee.
The program was produced by Great Lakes Publishing, which said it got the image from a committee involved in arranging the convention. Jeff Larson, a political consultant who ran that committee, said, “We didn’t pay any royalties that I know of for that photo.”
NBC’s Nightly News included the images in a Nightly News segment on Melania Trump that aired July 18, 2016, during the Republican National Convention.
The French edition of Vanity Fair put one of the pictures on the cover of its August 2016 issue.
Fox News used the photos in a variety of news segments in 2016. Greta Van Susteren’s show “On the Record” included two portraits of Melania Trump during an interview Van Susteren did with the future first lady. In November 2016, after Trump’s upset election win, the first episode of the Fox News show “OBJECTified,” hosted by TMZ founder Harvey Levin, depicted the life and rise of Donald Trump. The episode included two of the images taken by Mahaux.
A Fox News Channel spokesperson said in a statement that the Mahaux photos used by Fox “were provided by the Trump campaign and Melania Trump’s office, who told us they had full ownership and rights to the photos.”
Several news organizations––including Yahoo News, The Houston Chronicle, The San Francisco Chronicle, and The San Antonio Express-News––have removed the images from their websites in response to NBC News’s findings.
“We were not aware of this specific arrangement with Getty nor was our editorial influenced by it. We have removed the image from Yahoo Lifestyle,” Yahoo said in a statement.