Trump Reportedly Helped Himself To White House Photographer's Work For His Own Pricey Book

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White House chief photographer Shealah Craighead (centers) takes photographs of Donald Trump (right) and Slovak Republic Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini in 2019. (Photo: Chip Somodevilla via Getty Images)
White House chief photographer Shealah Craighead (centers) takes photographs of Donald Trump (right) and Slovak Republic Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini in 2019. (Photo: Chip Somodevilla via Getty Images)

White House chief photographer Shealah Craighead (centers) takes photographs of Donald Trump (right) and Slovak Republic Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini in 2019. (Photo: Chip Somodevilla via Getty Images)

Former President Donald Trumphelped himself to photos taken by his administration’s White House photographer to publish his own book of the images currently selling for as much as $230, The New York Times reported.

Initially, photographer Shealah Craighead had planned to publish her own book of her own work — as has been the case after the end of every administration since Ronald Reagan left the White House. In what appears to be a first for former presidents, Trump demanded a portion of the advance for Craighead’s book in exchange for promoting it, according to the Times.

Then, he decided to go ahead with his own project to publish a book of Craighead’s and other White House photographers’ photos.

Trump’s 317-page book, published in December and titled “Our Journey Together,” doesn’t include a single photo credit for any of the images, the Times noted, which would be highly unusual for any book, and particularly for one by a former president.

Instead, at the end of the book in a blanket acknowledgement, Trump thanks “all the phenomenal White House photographers,” and lists them by name, including Craighead, even though her photos make up most of the book (though readers would have to guess which ones).

Craighead has now opted to drop her own book plans and has declined to discuss her decision or her relationship with Trump throughout the book journey.

Images taken by White House photographers, who are paid, as was Trump, with taxpayer funds, are in the public domain. That means anyone has a right to use them. But typically White House photographers publish their own books highlighting their work with a president’s blessing.

Eric Draper, the chief White House photographer during George W. Bush’s administration, called Trump’s shady moves a “slap in the face” to Craighead. “I would be disappointed if I were in her shoes,” he told the Times.

Trump spokesman Taylor Budowich essentially confirmed the Times’ details. He told the newspaper that the former president received a multimillion-dollar advance for his book of photos he did not take.

“President Trump has always had an eye for beautiful and engaging curation, which came alive through the pages of his book,” Budowich said in a statement to the Times.

Check out the full New York Times article here.

This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.

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