White House returns portraits of Bill Clinton and George W Bush to prominent place in foyer after Trump hid them in room used for storage
- The White House has returned portraits of Bill Clinton and George W. Bush to prominent locations in the Grand Foyer
- Donald Trump hid them in a room used for storage
- Bush and Clinton portraits were visible in the entrance hallway of the executive mansion in a video the White House posted to its social media accounts
- It’s a tradition to place portraits of the most recent presidents in the most public areas of the White House where visitors can see them
- ‘The portraits were returned to their traditional locations in the Cross Hall on Inauguration Day by the Office of the Curator,’ press office told DailyMail.com
- Biden has undone many of Trump’s actions
- White House has not ruled out Biden hosting Trump for his portrait unveiling
The official presidential portraits were visible in the entrance hallway of the executive mansion in a video the White House posted to its social media accounts in honor of Black History Month.
‘The portraits were returned to their traditional locations in the Cross Hall on Inauguration Day by the Office of the Curator,’ the White House press office told DailyMail.com.
Trump moved the official portraits of his predecessors out of the Grand Foyer in July 2020 to the Old Family Dining Room, a small room off the state dining room used to store unused tablecloths and furniture.
But in a video posted online of the St. Augustine Gospel Choir singing at the White House in honor of Black History Month, the portrait of Bush can be seen behind the pianist and the portrait of Clinton is visible behind a wide shot of the choir singing in the cross hallway.
The choir members are scattered throughout the state rooms on the main floor of the executive mansion, wearing face masks and social distancing due to the coronavirus pandemic, as they sing a mix of gospel hymns.
The portraits and other White House decorations can be seen as the camera cuts between singers.
The White House has returned portraits of Bill Clinton and George W. Bush to prominent locations in the Grand Foyer after Donald Trump hid them in a room used for storage
The portraits were visible in a video the White House posted on its social media accounts in honor of Black History Month – the portrait of Bush can be seen behind the pianist
The portrait of Bill Clinton is visible in the upper left behind the choir singing
It’s a tradition to place portraits of the most recent presidents in the most public areas of the White House where visitors can see them when they take a tour and where they are visible to guests during official events.
But Trump took down Bush’s and Clinton’s portraits from their prominent spots and replaced them with other Republican presidents: the Bush portrait was replaced by that of William McKinley and the Clinton portrait was replaced by one of Theodore Roosevelt.
The two presidents were banished to the Old Family Dining Room, a room the Trumps rarely used and removed from the official White House tour.
Biden has made it a point to return to White House traditions – such as the daily press briefing – and undo many of Trump’s actions, such as returning the United States to the Paris Climate Accords. Last month he called Trump ‘the former guy’ during a town hall meeting with CNN.
And Biden hasn’t ruled out hosting Trump at the White House for an unveiling of the 45th president’s official portrait.
Trump did not invite Barack Obama to the White House for a portrait unveiling during his tenure, which was seen as a snub. Biden will likely host Obama for his portrait unveiling too.
Donald Trump move the paintings of his predecessors to the barely seen Old Family Dining Room but Joe Biden has undone many of the actions of his predecessor
The portraits are now back in the entrance hall after Trump moved them to the family dining room
The last portrait ceremony to happen at the White House was in May 2012 when President Barack Obama (left) and first lady Michelle Obama (right) invited President George W. Bush (center left) and Laura Bush (center right) to the White House
The tradition of previous presidents returning to the White House to meet with their successor to unveil their portraits seems to span back to the 1970s. It usually takes place during a president’s first term and is a jovial occasion.
After George H. W. Bush lost reelection, Bill Clinton still hosted his rival in the East Room for the portrait unveiling, saying ‘Welcome home.’
‘We may have our differences politically, but the presidency transcends those differences,’ Obama said when he hosted former President George W. Bush for his portrait unveiling in 2012.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said last month that President Biden didn’t plan to snub Trump out of a ceremony.
‘I have no portrait revealings or portrait plans or portrait events to preview for you, but I have not been given any indication that we would break with tradition in that regard,’ she said.