WASHINGTON, Sept 1 — Former US president Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama will finally unveil their official portraits at the White House next week after being denied the honour by Donald Trump.
The September 7 ceremony, announced by the administration on Wednesday, traditionally gives presidents the chance to pay homage to their predecessors.
But Trump, who led the United States for a single term after Obama’s eight years in office and frequently attacks his predecessor, declined to continue with the custom.
Instead President Joe Biden — who served as Obama’s vice president — and his wife Jill Biden will host the couple.
The 44th president’s latest visit since he vacated the Oval Office in 2017 comes five months after he made a high-profile homecoming for a public event on health care spending.
Trump, a world-renowned aficionado of the decade-spanning contretemps, demonstrated repeatedly during his tenure that he was untroubled by the mandates of tradition and protocol.
The norm-shredding Republican reportedly removed portraits of presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush from the White House’s Grand Foyer, considered the most prominent position in the executive mansion.
They were not restored until Biden took office last year. — AFP