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Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Trump Won’t Be Unveiling Obama White House Portrait

Former President Bill Clinton & Hillary Clinton, stand by their official White House portrait
during an unveiling event hosted by President George W. Bush & first lady Laura Bush on June 14, 2004.

NBC News

It's been a White House tradition for decades: A first-term president hosts a ceremony in the East Room for the unveiling of the official portrait of his immediate predecessor that will hang in the halls of the White House for posterity.

Republican presidents have done it for Democratic presidents, and vice versa — even when one of them ascended to the White House by defeating or sharply criticizing the other.

"We may have our differences politically," President Barack Obama said when he hosted former President George W. Bush for his portrait unveiling in 2012, "but the presidency transcends those differences."

Yet this modern ritual won't be taking place between Obama and President Donald Trump, according to people familiar with the matter. And if Trump wins a second term in November, it could be 2025 before Obama returns to the White House to see his portrait displayed among every U.S. president from George Washington to Bush.

Trump is unconcerned about shunning yet another presidential custom, and he has attacked Obama to an extent no other president has done to a predecessor. Most recently he's made unfounded accusations that Obama committed an unspecified crime.

Obama, for his part, has no interest in participating in the post-presidency rite of passage so long as Trump is in office, the people familiar with the matter said.

"You've got a president who's talking about putting the previous one in legal jeopardy, to put it nicely. We have not seen a situation like that in history. It takes antipathy of a new president for a predecessor to a new level."
Presidential historian Michael Beschloss

Continue reading at NBC News

President Bill Clinton & first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton applaud toward former President George H.W. Bush
& Barbara Bush after Bush's official formal White House portrait was unveiled on July 17, 1995.

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