A 6ft-tall golden statue of Donald Trump that pays homage to the ex-president’s promises to create more American manufacturing jobs was …made in Mexico.
The fiberglass sculpture, which depicts Trump in Stars and Stripes swim shorts, was assembled over the border and then painted in Tampa, Florida, according to its designer.
Tommy Zegan made the remarks on Saturday during an interview in front of the effigy that is being exhibited at prominent conservative event, Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) 2021, taking place in Orlando.
He titled the piece “Trump and His Magic Wand” in a reference to Barack Obama‘s 2016 criticism of Trump for promising manufacturing jobs without outlining how.
Many observers have mocked the statue, with some comparing it to the “golden calf” story in the Old Testament that warns people against idolizing false gods.
“It’s not an idol,” Zegan said, responding to critics. “I know the biblical definition of an idol. This is not an idol. This is a sculpture.”
Zegan hopes to sell the statue for $100,000; a bronze, gold-plated version for about $10 million; and wants to see a “priceless” stainless steel version displayed in the Trump Presidential Library.
Describing his piece, he said: “He’s wearing a business suit, which makes him a professional, he’s got a red tie which represents … the Republican Party.”
He added that Trump was holding a copy of the constitution to show that he is a constitutionalist and is wearing sandals to “represent the fact that he’s supposed to be retired, he should be on the beach right now.”
In addition to the wand and swim shorts, Zegan said, Trump is holding a copy of the constitution “to show he’s a constitutionalist,” wearing a red tie to represent the GOP, a blazer to represent his role in business, and sandals to “show he’s meant to be retired.”
Commenting on the statue earlier this week, legal analyst Joyce Alene said GOP members had become, “Worshippers of the golden Trump.” While journalist Dave Keating shared a video of the statue, captioning it: “To anyone who wants to fool themselves into thinking Donald Trump’s grip over the Republican Party is coming to an end…”
Trump is scheduled to speak at CPAC 2021 on Sunday in what will be his first political speech since he left the White House after a single term, following his election defeat to now-President Joe Biden.
It will arrive just weeks after Trump was acquitted of inciting an insurrection, but faced criticism from Republican Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell, and other Republicans—seven of whom voted to convict Trump.
Amid growing dissent against Trump’s leadership, CPAC 2021 could offer insight into the future of direction of the Republican Party.
Trump has been heavily linked with another run for the White House in 2024, but has not confirmed that he will do so, and is widely expected to use his speech to criticise those who have spoken out against him.
Former Vice President Mike Pence, a recently unpopular figure with many Trump supporters, reportedly turned down an invitation to speak at CPAC 2021, while McConnell reportedly received no invitation whatsoever.