The official portraits of former U.S. presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush have been moved from the White House's Grand Foyer to a more obscure location, according to Trump administration aides. They told reporters from CNN that President Donald Trump is breaking with tradition and rearranging the images of his predecessors. Additionally, they said Trump is not planning to unveil the portrait of former President Barack Obama in the usual formal ceremony either.
Trump has reportedly replaced the portraits of Clinton and Bush in the Grand Foyer with those of William McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt — two Republican presidents who served over a century ago. The paintings of Clinton and Bush, meanwhile, have been moved to the Old Family Dining Room. This room is a rarely used location, which most visitors do not even see. The small room mainly stores unused furniture and tablecloths. Aides noted that previously, the president would see the portraits of his recent predecessors every day, but now he does not.
These staff members related this break with tradition to another — Trump's plan to skip the usual unveiling ceremony for the portrait of Obama during his first term. Trump has been a long-time critic of Obama, a fact which many analysts believe contributed to his win in the 2016 election. He popularized the "birtherism" conspiracy theory, suggesting that Obama was not born in the United States, and has since accused Obama of unspecified and unsubstantiated "crimes."
Over the years, Trump has disparaged both Clinton and Bush as well. This may be even more true in private. Trump's former national security adviser John Bolton's recent book noted that the president "despised" both Bush presidents, calling George W. Bush "stupid," according to insiders.
As for Clinton, Trump reportedly relates the 42nd president to his wife, Hillary Clinton, his main opponent in the 2016 election. Trump has not spoken at any great length to either of these former presidents during his own tenure in the White House, though they have had brief encounters, such as their meeting at George H.W. Bush's funeral in December of 2018.
Aides say that Trump has been showing more and more affinity for earlier presidents, such as McKinley and Roosevelt. McKinley, the 25th President of the United States, was assassinated in 1901 and succeeded by Roosevelt.
Not only will White House visitors be greeted with these 100-year-old presidents, but they will reportedly be prevented from visiting the obscure new location of Clinton and Bush's portraits as well. A White House official told CNN: "President and Mrs. Trump did not want that room showcased on public tours."