There is a long-standing tradition in American politics. As president, you are meant to invite your predecessor back to the White House for the unveiling and hanging of their official Presidential Portrait. Once a staple of the Presidential experience, it was Jackie Kennedy who restarted the tradition in the 1960s.
The tradition of the current President helping unveil the portrait of the previous President started in earnest under President Carter. Carter invited President Ford back to the White House in 1978 to hang Ford's portrait. The tradition continued from there, with the exception of Carter who requested that there be no ceremony. Bush I invited back Reagan, Clinton invited back Bush I, Bush II invited back Clinton, and Obama invited back Bush II. However, the trend stopped under Trump, who did not extend an invitation to the Obamas. Their portraits were instead unveiled in 2022 by President Biden.
Trump Never Invited The Obamas To The White House
Appearing on The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon, the former First Lady did not hold back. She cut Fallon off as he tried to lead into a question about being invited back under the Biden administration. "Wasn't invited," Obama quipped, smirking as the jab threw Fallon off before following up with an "oooh shade." She then went on to clarify what she meant, “That’s tradition. You do your official portraits. The next president is supposed to invite you back to hang them. We were never invited back. So, these pictures had been done for a long, long time.”
Trump has had a...thorny relationship with his Presidential predecessor to say the least. Reports claim that Trump had the toilets replaced in the White House after the Obamas left. Furthermore, Trump was a very prominent voice in the "Birther movement", the right-wing conspiracy that Obama was not a US citizen. Despite running against Hilary Clinton in 2016, Trump always positioned himself as an antidote to the Obama era. A president almost famous for his reckless abandonment of protocol, this latest claim of both shunning tradition and snubbing the Obamas is unsurprising. It is unclear when the official portraits of the Trumps will be completed.