Mary Anne MacLeod Trump, 2000

Photo Phonica

Mary Anne MacLeod Trump, Commission for Fortune, 2000.

Doesn’t all of this we are living through prove that time travel is not possible because if it was, someone would have most certainly come back from the future to warn us by now? Way back in 2000, when Donald Trump’s political aspirations were still seen largely as a joke, I was commissioned by Fortune Magazine to photograph a feature on the real estate developer. I flew down to Mar-a-lago and spent a couple of days following him around. He was generally unpleasant, as you might imagine, criticizing me for taking too long, (“What the hell camera is this, let’s go.”) then after berating me all afternoon, he invited me to be his “special guest” to photograph him and Melania at some gala that night. At one point after taking his portrait, really out of the blue, he said, “if you would like, my mother is in the next room. I would be happy to introduce you.” We go into the courtyard and there sitting alone in a golden chair, not doing anything, was Mary Anne Trump. Her long blonde hair was perfectly quaffed and makeup immaculate. Donald disappeared shortly after the introduction leaving my assistant and I alone with her. Attempting small talk I managed to make a couple of pictures that I now actually like better than any of the pictures I made of her son. She passed away in August of that year.

A couple of days ago when asked about Mother’s Day on Fox & Friends, the president responded, “I had a great mom. I loved my mom, and she loved me, which … is probably not easy to do,” and then added, “She was so good to me. I couldn’t do any wrong, which is a big problem. Maybe that’s why I ended up the way I ended up. I don’t know. I couldn’t do any wrong in her eyes.”
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While Donald Trump might feel like he could do no wrong in her eyes, when I look at this picture, I get the feeling from her eyes that that might not be entirely true. Is it possible that Mary Anne was trying to warn us about our future from the past?