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Donald And Melania Trump Release Their Official Christmas Portrait

U.S. Army Sgt. Kalie Jones

There may be political turmoil in the United States, but you wouldn't be able to tell that anything is wrong by looking at the new official Christmas portraits of the President and the First Lady.  

Donald and Melania Trump are putting all of their worries aside and smiling big for this year's festive photo, which was taken by White House photographer Andrea Hanks shortly before the couple made their way to the Congressional Ball on December 15.    

Donald and Melania Trump Christmas Portrait
White House Photo by Andrea Hanks

A departure from last year's portrait, which saw the couple posing in the Cross Hall in black ensembles, the 2018 edition leans more into the Christmas theme.

The couple are back in the Cross Hall, but this time they're standing in the middle of the room, flanked by beautifully lit Christmas trees. Melania is spreading cheer in a white sequin dress by Celine, while the Commander-In-Chief is in his signature tux and bow tie.

But for the second year in a row, Barron Trump did not join his parents for the shoot.

"Merry Christmas from President Donald J. Trump and First Lady Melania Trump," read the caption of the portrait, which was shared on both Melania and the President's Twitter accounts.

The Trumps have received plenty of compliments on the photo from people on social media.  

However, it seems like Donald and Melania can't do anything right in the eyes of certain people, and there were many who were quick to criticize the new photos.

Vogue published a piece titled "What's Up With This Year's Surreal White House Christmas Portrait?" on their website in which they said that the photo "feels strangely off" and accused it of being photoshopped.

The author claimed that the photo shows "FLOTUS and POTUS looking almost like cardboard cutout versions of themselves," before calling the couple out for being "very, very smiley despite this season of indictments."

The unnamed writer also asks "why do we get the distinct feeling that we’re being greeted by wax statues?" and according to Vogue.com's Visual Director Emily Rosser, it's all about the lighting.

Both Vogue and their "experts" who contributed to the piece have since received some backlash for their negative break down of the portraits.

“Notice how no one at Vogue was brave enough to put their name on this utter piece of garbage? This isn’t journalism, its crap. It belongs in the same sewer that Vogue inhabits,” Media Research Center vice president Dan Gainor told Fox News. "Vogue is especially disgusting here by complaining about the president and first lady because they are smiling and holding hands. It’s even more laughable because it’s so bitter and vindictive."

The controversy surrounding the portraits comes on the heels of people on social media and news outlets mocking her White House Christmas decorations, comparing them to something out of The Handmaid's Tale.

Still, the FLOTUS has not let the harsh criticism spoil her fun, and she wasted to time in sticking up for herself.

"It’s the 21st century and everybody has different tastes, I think they look fantastic,” the first lady said. “In real life, they look even more beautiful. You’re all very welcome to visit the White House.”

What do you think of the Trumps' Christmas portraits? Let us know in the comments!

Awa has been writing for Shared for 3 years. She is a serial snacker who unapologetically loves celebrity gossip. Drop her a line at awa@shared.com.