President Trump refusing to unveil Obama’s White House portrait, report says

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Barack Obama, right. (Source: AP Photo/Jason DeCrow, File)
Donald Trump, left (Source: Doug Mills/The New York Times-Pool/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WTVO) — President Trump will be skipping the traditional unveiling ceremony of the official White House portrait of President Obama, according to a new report.

NBC News said people familiar with the matter said the unveiling event is not on the calendar, and may not happen at all while Trump is in office.

“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,” Kate Andersen Brower, author of “Team of Five: The Presidents Club in the Age of Trump,” told CNN.

During the traditional unveiling ceremony, sitting presidents have invited former presidents to the White House for the event. Obama hosted George W. Bush in 2012; Bush hosted Bill Clinton in 2004; Clinton hosted George H.W. Bush in 1995; and the elder Bush hosted Ronald Reagan in 1989.

The unveiling ceremony has been a White House tradition for 40 years, since 1978.

Obama and Trump have only met outside of the presidency once, at the funeral for George H.W. Bush in 2012.

Trump has frequently leveled barbs at the Obama presidency, and has recently accused the former president of “the biggest political crime and scandal in the history of the USA,” but has not elaborated further.

Recently, Obama has criticized Trump for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

“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.”

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