Melania Trump snubs Jill Biden by defying First Lady tradition

Sarah Carty
·Lifestyle Editor
·4-min read

Just hours before Jill Biden moves into the White House, Melania Trump has delivered the ultimate snub to the incoming FLOTUS.

According to numerous reports, Melania will not be hosting Jill Biden for a customary tour of the family wing of the White House before the Bidens move in.

Melania Trump addresses the Republican Convention during its second day from the Rose Garden of the White House August 25, 2020, in Washington, DC.
Melania Trump has delivered the ultimate snub to Jill Biden. Photo: Getty Images

It’s an age-old tradition which dates back to the 1950s, when Bess Truman hosted her replacement Mamie Eisenhower for tea.

“Melania Trump will become the first modern first lady not to invite the woman who will replace her to the White House for a walk-through of the private living quarters on the second and third floors.Kate Andersen Brower, author of Exploring the White House: Inside America's Most Famous Home wrote in a column for CNN.

Unless Melania has a change of mind last minute about showing Jill Biden around the White House, she will break with a first lady tradition, a move many have slammed.

According to Anita McBride, who served as chief of staff for former first lady Laura Bush, the meeting of the first ladies just after the election symbolises a ‘peaceful transfer of power’.

"It's one of the more visible customs that became a tradition, so that for the last 40-plus years or more, Americans have grown accustomed to seeing the new first family invited to the White House in tandem with the president inviting the president-elect," she told USA Today.


Jill Biden, the wife of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, speaks during a Back to School Tour at Shortlidge Academy in Wilmington, Delaware, on September 1, 2020.
Jill Biden didn't get her traditional tour of the White House from Melania Trump. Photo: Getty Images

"The point is conveying unity and continuity, and that is the most dramatic, visible display that the transfer has occurred – that the new first family has gone to the house."

It’s a tradition that has lasted through the years and usually occurs when the president invites the president-elect to the White House Oval Office after the election, however Donald Trump failed to extend an invitation to Joe Biden after his presidential win this year.

The exchange between First Ladies is known to be a crucial one when it comes to setting up a new administration and hasn’t always been smooth sailing.

US President Barack Obama(R) and First Lady Michelle Obama(L) welcome President-elect Donald Trump(2nd-R) and his wife Melania to the White House in Washington, DC January 20, 2017.
The Obamas welcoming the Trumps to the White House on Donald Trump's inauguration day in 2017. Photo: Getty Images

Famously, Nancy Regan and Rosalynn Carter were not fans of one another, with drama unfolding between them when the Carter administration had to hand over to Reagan.

Michelle Obama has also previously talked about the importance of a cordial handover, pointing out new staff need to be able to communicate with the old to keep the house running smoothly.

Indeed, Michelle Obama gave Melania Trump a tour of the White House just two days after Donald Trump was elected four years ago and Laura Bush invited Michelle Obama over twice, so her daughters could pick out their bedrooms at the house.

Luckily for the Bidens, they are well used to the corridors of the White House, after Joe Biden served as Vice President during Obama’s tenure.

Melania’s failure to uphold the tradition might not come as a shock to some, especially as Donald Trump has said he won’t even be attending Joe Biden’s inauguration on the 20th of January.

Mrs. Laura Bush and Mrs. Michelle Obama sit in the private residence of the White House Monday, Nov. 10, 2008, after the President-elect and Mrs. Obama arrived for a visit.  White House photo by Joyce N. Boghosian
Laura Bush and Michelle Obama sit in the private residence of the White House in 2008. Photo: Getty Images

Trump is reportedly planning a ceremonial farewell at Joint Base Andrews, the base outside Washington where Air Force One is headquartered.

The Trumps will then fly on to Palm Beach, Florida, to begin their post-presidency at his Mar-a-Lago club, sources told Reuters.

Trump is likely to be in Florida by the time Biden is inaugurated at midday on Wednesday.

A handful of White House aides plan to work for Trump in Palm Beach as the former real estate tycoon works on retaining his clout in the Republican Party.

Some advisers have been urging the president to host Biden for a White House meeting before Inauguration Day but there has been no sign Trump is willing to do that, an administration official said.

With extra reporting by AAP

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