Trump Exiles Clinton, Bush Portraits at White House

Recent predecessors are moved out of sight, bumped by presidents from 100 years ago
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 19, 2020 8:16 AM CDT
Trump Dumps Clinton, Bush Portraits for Roosevelt, McKinley
A portrait of Teddy Roosevelt "The Rough Rider" by Tad? (Thadeus) Styka is seen in the newly renovated Roosevelt Room of the White House in 2017.   (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

President Trump can't remove former Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush from history, but he can make them less visible. Their official portraits have been taken out of the Grand Foyer at the White House and exiled to the Old Family Dining Room, a little-used room just off the State Dining Room that's out of sight for visitors. "President and Mrs. Trump did not want that room showcased on public tours," an official said, adding that the room is being used for storage now. That puts the portraits out of Trump's view, as well, CNN reports. He'd normally see Clinton and Bush regularly; it's been customary to hang the portraits of the most recent presidents near the official entrance, where they can greet visitors for events. That means Clinton and Bush have been watching over Trump as he has welcomed guests and spoken in the White House's Cross Hall.

Visitors are now greeted by Theodore Roosevelt and William McKinley, whom Trump is more fond of and who held the office more than a century ago. Aides have said he's knocked Bush and Clinton, referring to Bush as "stupid." There apparently will be no awkwardness about where to hang former President Obama's portrait, as the White House has no plans for an unveiling, per CNN—another custom dropped. Every president since Jimmy Carter has attended a portrait ceremony at the White House, the White House Historical Association website says, adding, "These ceremonies are often bipartisan events with warm greetings and collegial speeches exchanged by the president and their predecessor." (Obama paintings for the National Portrait Gallery are historic in a couple of ways.)

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