US President Trump will not hold a ceremony to officially unveil the portraits of his predecessor Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle. With that, he breaks with a tradition that has persisted for 40 years, reports NBC News today.
It has been a tradition for decades for the incumbent president to hold a ceremony in the White House’s East Room to unveil the portrait of his predecessor, which will then be included among the paintings of other American former presidents.
Republican presidents did that for their Democratic predecessors and vice versa, even if their views were miles apart or sharply criticized for each other’s policies. The first lady is also honored with a portrait that is placed among those of her predecessors.
“We may have our political disagreements, but the presidency transcends those differences,” said President Barack Obama in 2012 when he hosted his predecessor George W. Bush to reveal his portrait.
But Trump has no intention of honoring Obama, NBC News reports today. It’s no secret that Trump feels little love for his predecessor and that feeling is mutual. US president is currently trying to rouse the people with cryptic tweets and a bizarre press conference on ‘Obamagate’, a scandal he thinks Barack Obama is behind.
However, Trump has not yet clarified exactly what the scandal is all about and it seems that he is trying to divert attention from his approach to the corona crisis. Obama, on the other hand, was very critical of Trump’s approach to the pandemic.
Sources aware of the case indicate that Barack Obama himself is not interested in attending the ritual while Trump is still in the White House. If Trump wins the election again in November, it may even take until 2025 before Obama sets foot in his former official residence again.
Both Obama and the White House spokesman refused to respond to the matter.