Trump refuses to unveil Obama’s White House portrait, breaking 40-year tradition

Novieku-Babatunde Adeola May 20, 2020 at 08:00am

May 20, 2020 at 08:00 am | News

Novieku-Babatunde Adeola

Novieku-Babatunde Adeola | Staff Writer

May 20, 2020 at 08:00 am | News

Photo: RNZ

President Donald Trump will not be unveiling the White House portrait of his predecessor, Barack Obama, a report has said. According to NBC News, the event to unveil Obama’s official portrait wasn’t currently on the calendar, which breaks a standing 40 years White House tradition.

For decades, the first-term president as a show of appreciation held ceremonies in the East Room to unveil portraits of their closest predecessors. Obama did so for former President George W. Bush in 2012.

“George, you went out of your way, to make the transition to new administration seamless as possible,” Obama said at the time.

Prior to that, Bush hosted Bill Clinton in 2004; Clinton hosted George H.W Bush in 1995, and the elder Bush hosted Ronald Reagan in 1989.

Trump and Obama have had to endure a frosty relationship.

Despite the enmity between them, NBC reported that Obama wrote Trump an inauguration letter and left it in the desk drawer in the Oval Office. Trump in January 2017 said the letter was “beautiful”.

This, however, did not stop Trump from frequently accusing Obama on several issues, including issues with testing for COVID-19. Obama on his part has occasionally jabbed Trump with the latest coming over the weekend when he accused Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

“More than anything, the pandemic has fully, finally torn back the curtain on the idea that so many of the folks in charge know what they’re doing,” Obama said during a virtual commencement address for 2020 high school and college. “A lot of them aren’t even pretending to be in charge.”

Meanwhile, people familiar with the matter have stated that the Obama administration has no interest in participating in the post-presidency rite of passage so long as Trump is in office.

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