Portraits of the Obamas will not be unveiled at the White House until Trump leaves office

Greg Evans
Tuesday 19 May 2020 13:30
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Picture:(Evan Vucci/AP/Getty Images/Getty Images for EIF & XQ)

Donald Trump feud with Barack Obama has grown so bitter that he can't even look at paintings of his predecessor.

It is a tradition in the White House for a first-term president to host an event where a portrait of the previous president and their partner is unveiled.

Barack and Michelle Obama currently don't have a portrait in the White House and they might have to wait until 2025 to get one, all depending on whether Trump wins November's election.

An NBC News report claims that Obama isn't interested in taking part in the event if Trump is still president and the latter is more than happy to cancel the custom which has been in place since the 1970s.

This should probably come as no surprise as the two men have made it pretty vocal that neither of them like each other, with Obama openly criticising Trump during a series of graduation speeches as Trump continues to push the baseless 'Obamagate' conspiracy theory.

The process had reportedly stalled back in 2017 after the Obama's had selected who would be painting their portraits. From there it is mandatory for the privately funded White House Historical Association to negotiate a contract with the chosen artist.

The Obama's both have their portraits hanging in the Washington National Portrait Gallery but the White House paintings are part of a different tradition.

The ceremony has provided president's with a moment to put their differences aside. Back in 2012, when Obama hosted George W. Bush, he said:

We may have our differences politically, but the presidency transcends those differences.

The likes of Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush, as well as Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford have also had time to reflect on their opponent's merits during the event, despite having previously gone through turbulent campaigns against each other.

The only previous time that the ceremony wasn't public was in 1971 when Jacqueline Kennedy attended a private event to see the portrait of her deceased husband John F Kennedy, which was unveiled by Richard Nixon and his wife Pat.

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