The First Lady doesn’t always seem comfortable with the ceremonial position she’s found herself occupying, but she has found a way to monetize it. According to NBC News, Melania Trump has an unusual deal with Getty Pictures whereby she is paid for some of the images they distribute to certain news agencies.
“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,” NBC News observes. “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.”
In this quirky side hustle, Melania Trump has proven herself to be fully part of the spirit of her husband’s administration: Environmental Protection Agency head Scott Pruitt and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross have both had their fair share of media coverage over their devotion to private gain.
Most recently, the Washington Post reports that “Two of Scott Pruitt’s top aides provided fresh details to congressional investigators in recent days about some of his most controversial spending and management decisions, including his push to find a six-figure job for his wife at a politically connected group, enlist staffers in performing personal tasks and seek high-end travel despite aides’ objections.”
Meanwhile CNBC reports that Wilbur Ross, while serving as commerce secretary, shorted on two stocks.
Taken together, Melania Trump, Scott Pruitt and Wilbur Ross suggest Trump administration officials are not overly concerned with the ethical codes of their predecessors.