A billboard depicting President Donald Trump as a Nazi in downtown Phoenix, Ariz. was funded with taxpayer dollars, according to Judicial Watch.
The conservative watchdog group obtained records that reveal the controversial billboard was commissioned by an "arts advocate" paid by a U.S. city to "diminish barriers."
The billboard depicts an angry looking Trump wearing a Russian flag pin on his lapel. The president is shown in front of two mushroom clouds, which are in the shape of laughing clowns, and two dollar symbols that are modified from the Nazi swastika symbol.
The billboard is owned by Beatrice Moore, a longtime art benefactor. The controversial billboard was designed by artist Karen Fiorito, who claimed she has received death threats as a result of her work.
According to records from the city of Phoenix, Moore received thousands of dollars in grants for a program she runs called Grand Avenue Arts & Preservation (GAP), which is where the billboard is located.
The Nazi artwork was debated at an annual local art celebration, Art Detour, that happens to be publicly funded. The event is put on by Artlink, a group founded by Moore with help from the city of Phoenix.
In July 2016, the city of Phoenix granted Moore and her art companies $3,500, and in August 2016, the 2017 Art Detour event received $1,800.
In the documents Judicial Watch obtained, Moore is described by the city as an "artist, community organizer, and arts advocate," and the public funding for Art Detour was reportedly given to help "diminish barriers."
Moore commissioned Fiorito for the Trump billboard using "government grant monies," including the Arizona Commission on the Arts, for artists' fees.
— The Independent (@Independent) March 20, 2017