God they are such grifters.

Since her husband took office Melania Trump has earned six figures from an unusual deal with a photo agency in which major media organizations have indirectly paid the Trump family despite a requirement that the photos be used only in positive coverage.

President Donald Trump’s most recent financial disclosure reveals that in 2017 the first lady earned at least $100,000 from Getty Images for the use of any of a series of 187 photos of the first family shot between 2010 and 2016 by Belgian photographer Regine Mahaux.

It’s not unheard of for celebrities to earn royalties from photos of themselves, but it’s very unusual for the wife of a currently serving elected official. More problematic for the many news organizations that have published or broadcast the images, however, is that Getty’s licensing agreement stipulates the pictures can be used in “positive stories only.”

According to the revenue statement in President Trump’s May financial disclosure, Melania Trump earned between $100,000 and $1,000,000 in photo royalties in 2017 from the Getty deal.

Because that’s all the how precise they’re required to be. It was at least 100k but could be 1,000k…which is a decent piece of change. They could pay for a whole year’s worth of ice cream with that.

NBC News found at least a dozen organizations that had paid to use Mahaux’s restricted images of the Trumps in 2017, resulting in indirect payment to the first family.

Yahoo News, NBC News, Marie Claire, the Daily Mail, My San Antonio, Houston Chronicle, House Beautiful, and SF Gate, the website for The San Francisco Chronicle, are among those that have featured Mahaux’s highly stylized family portraits since Trump took office.

The February 2017 issue of the Russian edition of the fashion magazine Elle included a gilded Mahaux portrait of the first family.

A Mahaux group portrait of Donald, Melania and son Barron Trump was featured on the May page of the White House 2017 calendar that was on sale in the White House gift shop for $14. Bent Publishing, which publishes the calendars, confirmed that it licensed the Mahaux photo for the 2017 calendar.

So the White House gift shop is putting money in Don and Mel’s pockets. That’s not how any of this is supposed to work.

Several news organizations removed the images from their websites after inquiries by NBC News.

Yahoo took them down and said in a statement: “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.”

The San Francisco Chronicle deleted the images from its website as well, and said it was looking into how they came to be used.

In a standard photo contract, the photographer gets royalties and the photo agency receives fees for each use of an image. Models are not paid royalties.

Paying royalties to the Trumps and limiting the use to only positive stories about a prominent politician is unusual, according to Akili Ramsess, executive director of the National Press Photographers Association. She said that while celebrity wedding or baby photographs are sometimes licensed so part of the fees flows back to the celebrity, it is rare for politicians. Keith Major, another Getty photographer who has also photographed Melania Trump, does not share royalties with her, and agreed that splitting income with a subject is unusual.

Unusual because greedy, sleazy, tacky, piggy. It’s a wonder they don’t send Barron out to Lafayette Park to sell lemonade.

News organizations likely would not have known about the payments to Melania Trump, but could have been aware of the published stipulation about positive coverage in the catalog.

Indira Lakshmanan, a media ethicist at the Poynter Institute, said, “If I’m a news editor, I would use photos that don’t have any restriction attached to them. There’s a lesson for editors, for public figures. There are plenty of photos out there that you can use that don’t have these restrictions.”

Most modern first ladies have launched books and other commercial products during their stints in the White House — and then donated the entire proceeds to charity. Laura Bush donated a book advance to education charities, and Michelle Obama gave the proceeds from her book American Grown to the National Park Foundation.

Yeah that’s not what Trumps do. They spend their own foundation’s money on themselves, so obviously they’re not going to give away payments for being photographed to some losers or other.

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