President Donald Trump won’t be unveiling former President Barack Obama’s portrait at the White House, breaking a 40-year tradition. Trump accused Obama of unsubstantiated and unspecified crimes.
For decades, first-term presidents have held ceremonies in the East Room to unveil the portraits of their immediate predecessors. Obama did so for former President George W. Bush in 2012.
According to CNN, Kate Andersen Brower, author of “Team of Five: The Presidents Club in the Age of Trump said “Presidential portrait unveilings are one of the three events that bring former presidents together. This level of animosity between a sitting president and his predecessors is unprecedented in modern history.”
Trump and Obama have met only once in person since Inauguration Day, at the funeral for former President George H.W. Bush in December 2018. They shook hands briefly at the start of the service but didn’t interact for the remainder of the day.
Over the weekend, Obama appeared to excoriate Trump’s response to the coronavirus pandemic but did not explicitly mention him.
“More than anything, this 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 graduates of historically black colleges and universities. “A lot of them aren’t even pretending to be in charge.”
Obama did not directly say Trump’s name, but it is safe to assume who he was referring to. Does this really surprise anyone that Trump is willing to break a 40-year tradition?