Tensions between U.S. President Donald Trump and former President Barack Obama regarding responses to COVID-19 and investigation into the Russian scandal may affect the White House event of 42-year-old tradition to unveil the portrait of a preceding president.
NBC News reported on Tuesday that the portrait unveiling event, which was held for the first time in 1978 by then President Jimmy Carter revealing the portrait of his predecessor and the former first lady, is likely to not take place under the Trump administration. The news media added that President Trump is “unconcerned about shunning yet another presidential custom” and “Obama, for his part, has no interest in participating in the post-presidency rite of passage so long as Trump is in office.”
Both former and current presidents and first ladies, as well as key government officials, are invited to the unveiling event. The outgoing president chooses a painter to draw his portrait while the unveiling event is hosted by the new president to applaud his predecessor. Former President Obama chose a painter in early 2017, the last year of his presidency, but the follow-up process was reportedly suspended.
President Trump claims that the Obama administration fabricated the Russian scandal, in which Russia got involved in the 2016 U.S. presidential election to help President Trump win. He also argues that former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn was indicted for perjury regarding the Russian scandal as a result of political sabotage by the Obama administration.
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