The latest addition to the White House is a painting called "The Republican Club," by artist Andy Thomas which depicts President Donald Trump hanging out with Republican presidents of the past. The painting shows Trump seated between Presidents Eisenhower and Nixon, directly across from Abraham Lincoln. Teddy Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan. Both Bushes are also shown.
The painting could be seen in the background of a photo tweeted by 60 Minutes, which aired an interview with Trump last night.
Now on 60 Minutes: There's less than a month until the mid-term elections. Hear what President Trump has to say abo… https://t.co/lf9DFkJwTo— 60 Minutes (@60 Minutes) 1539560161.0
An eagle-eyed Twitter user spotted it and raised the alarm:
oh my god, it's hanging in the white house https://t.co/wrq8eo7Bvx— Josh Billinson (@Josh Billinson) 1539562456.0
It is the latest in a series by Thomas that depicts past presidents from each party hanging out together. The artwork has been criticized by amateur artists who view it as a tacky, even kitschy addition to the White House decor.
They sell these paintings in DC; I have seen versions at a Georgetown kitsch gallery, including the same but of Dem… https://t.co/SFGxrjmxbN— Garance Franke-Ruta (@Garance Franke-Ruta) 1539599665.0
This stupid painting in the White House is not at all how it would happen. All of them would give Abraham Lincoln… https://t.co/R8HtsBVWIz— David Clarke (@David Clarke) 1539570334.0
A painting putting trump in context of the mainstream of the Republican Party with all of them laughing is so remar… https://t.co/Bx7Wo1yNHg— Isaac Butler (@Isaac Butler) 1539563482.0
Disturbing thing #1 - Trump feels he is in a place of honor among all GOP presidents. #2 - Trump was slimmed down… https://t.co/IZi7saDa5r— Tina Peterson Pirlot (@Tina Peterson Pirlot) 1539585825.0
Trump received the painting as a gift from Representative Darrell Issa (R-CA), whom Trump nominated to head the U.S. Trade and Development Agency, and who is a fan of Thomas's work. (At one point, Issa even had a portrait of himself commissioned from Thomas.)
“He’s a really friendly guy and he said, ‘If I get a chance, I’m going to show this to Donald,’” Thomas said.
Then Trump saw the painting.
“He had actually given a [sic] me real gracious call to tell me how much he liked it,” Thomas said of Trump. “He was very complimentary. He made a comment that he’d seen a lot of paintings of himself and he rarely liked them.” He added: "You can't imagine how happy that made me," noting that he never expected to receive a thank you from the president himself.
Responding to criticisms about the painting, Thomas said that while this one is getting a lot of attention because of the 60 Minutes interview, his presidential art is bipartisan.
“I challenge people to look at the paintings and see if they can figure it out,” he said, declining to discuss his personal political views.
The 60 Minutes interview touched on multiple subjects, including Trump's relationships with North Korea and Russia.
When pressed about North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un's record of human rights violations, Trump said that his efforts have resulted in fewer threats against the United States.
"Sure. I know all these things. I mean, I'm not a baby. I know these things," he said. "Look, let it be whatever it is. I get along with him really well. I have a good energy with him. I have a good chemistry with him. Look at the horrible threats that were made. No more threats. No more threats."
Trump also refused to pledge not to interfere in Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russia probe, but insisted, once again, that neither he nor his campaign colluded with Russian operatives to subvert the 2016 presidential election.
"I don't pledge anything," Trump said. "But I will tell you, I have no intention of doing that. I think it's a very unfair investigation because there was no collusion of any kind."
"There is no collusion," he added. "I don't want to pledge. Why should I pledge to you? If I pledge, I'll pledge. I don't have to pledge to you. But I have ... I have no intention of doing that."
Asked whether he thought Moscow meddled in the 2016 election, Trump said he believed other countries were also involved.
"They meddled. But I think China meddled, too. And I think other countries ..." Trump said. "And I think, frankly, China is a bigger problem."
The president also denied treating Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, who accused Associate Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct, with disrespect. Trump had mocked Dr. Ford at a rally earlier this month.
“You know what? I’m not going to get into it because we won. It doesn’t matter. We won,” Trump said, referring to Kavanaugh’s eventual confirmation.