Ryan Teague Beckwith-MSN
Image Courtesy: TIME Inc."The Republican Club" courtesy of Andy Thomas
President Donald Trump liked a painting of him having drinks with Abraham Lincoln, Richard Nixon and Teddy Roosevelt so much that he called the artist on the phone and then put a print of it in the White House.
Called “The Republican Club,” the print of 10 Republican presidents sitting around a table could be seen briefly in the background of Trump’s interview with “60 Minutes” Sunday, and an image of that moment went viral on social media.
As all this was playing out, Andy Thomas was at his home in Carthage, Mo., watching the Kansas City Chiefs play the New England Patriots on TV while working on a painting of a train robbery in the Old West. (It’s a favorite subject of his: “Lots of horses, lots of action.”)
Thomas’ phone began to ring, as friends reached out to tell him, but he assumed they were just pollsters asking about the Missouri Senate race. Finally, his wife came down to show him on the computer.
“I was ecstatic,” he told TIME afterward. “A lot of times gifts aren’t really hung up, they’re just pushed in a closet somewhere. To find out it’s actually hanging is really a treat.”
It’s unclear how the print made its way into the White House, but Thomas said Republican Rep. Darrell Issa of California had told him recently that he’d be showing it to Trump.
Thomas is not a very political person, but he’d done a portrait of Issa a few years ago and the two have kept in touch. But he was surprised two weeks ago when he came in from mowing the lawn and his wife and business partner, Dina, told him that Trump would be calling shortly.
“He basically said, ‘most portraits of me I really don’t like,'” Thomas said. “And he’s right. He’s hard to paint. There’s some bad ones out there.”
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