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Obama White House portrait unveiling not expected as Trump accuses him of crime

May 19, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

An official portrait unveiling for former President Barack Obama at the White House isn't expected to occur anytime soon as his successor, President Donald Trump, accuses him of unsubstantiated and unspecified crimes.

(CNN)An official portrait unveiling for former President Barack Obama at the White House isn't expected to occur anytime soon as his successor, President Donald Trump, accuses him of unsubstantiated and unspecified crimes.

NBC News first reported on the apparent end of a long tradition of first-term presidents hosting their immediate predecessor at the White House to unveil an official portrait.

An administration official said there have been some discussions between the White House and Obama's team to hang the portrait but no date was ever officially scheduled.

"Presidential portrait unveilings are one of the three events that bring former presidents together.

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.

One of the traditional set-pieces of the club is the portrait unveiling in the White House East Room, which in the past has occurred sometime in a new president's first term.

In 2012, ahead of Bush's portrait unveiling, first lady Michelle Obama told aides the event and accompanying meal "needs to be perfect," Brower reported in the book.

Trump's first term will end next January, and neither Obama nor Michelle is expected to participate in a portrait unveiling before then, according to people familiar with the matter.

If Trump wins reelection in November, it's not clear the Obamas would return to the White House for a portrait ceremony during his second term either.

The open enmity between the current and most recent president is all but unprecedented and does not appear poised to dissipate as Trump battles Obama's vice president, Joe Biden, in this year's presidential contest.

While the Obamas were deeply involved in a separate pair of portraits that hang at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, the state of their official portraits that would hang alongside those of past presidents and first ladies in the White House isn't clear.

On its website, the White House Historical Association says all presidents since Jimmy Carter -- who asked not to have a ceremony -- have returned to the White House for an unveiling.

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