Donald Trump has grown frustrated with many parts of being president. But the former showbiz star is still in love with one perk: The Oval Office photo op.
Despite the weight of multiple Russia investigations, open war with GOP leaders and a stalled congressional agenda, Trump has spent considerable time grinning behind the Resolute Desk, where he summons visitors from PGA star John Daly to former campaign aides to pastors, truck drivers, tech CEOs, teachers and even journalists to pose in front of the gold curtains.
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He tells aides, from senior White House advisers to his private bodyguard, Keith Schiller, to snap the photos on cell phones, or he shouts for Shealah Craighead, the official White House photographer, to come in. The often impatient president will sometimes pose for several minutes per sitting, taking variations of a photo with a single group. He even stands with people to inspect the photos.
“Check the lighting,” one senior White House official said, describing his comments. “Are your eyes closed? Do you want another? He knows these are special moments for people.”
The photos illustrate how master-marketer Trump sees the job, White House officials say — and are one part of the presidency that don’t seem to grate on him, even though other presidents have barely tolerated the click-and-grin sessions.
While Trump scowls in his official presidential portrait and lashes out at his critics on Twitter and at rallies, the private Oval Office photo sessions are largely all teeth and charm, revealing a softer side that Republican…
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