President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump are abstaining from the tradition of meeting the incoming first family. Thus leaving Joe Biden and future first lady Jill Biden to be greeted by Timothy Harleth, who is The White House chief usher.
Traditionally, before the inauguration, she outgoing president and first lady invite the upcoming president that first lady into the White House for coffee and later travel to the inauguration ceremony together.
Donald and Melania Trump were hosted by former president Barak Obama and his first lady Michelle Obama even after the bitter election campaign on Trump’s side.
The encounter was undoubtedly awkward for the Obama family but it is tradition and they put their differences aside.
Donald Trump also declined to attend the inauguration of president elect Joe Biden, which makes him (Trump) the fourth president who declined the invitation to the ceremony.
The inauguration invite is not the only thing he declined, as Trump has also declined Biden’s invite to the traditional Oval Office meeting before the inauguration day.
Neither did Melania Trump give Jill Biden a tour of the family wing of the White House which is also a tradition. And there are reports that Melania has not been in touch at all with Jill.
Before being banned on almost every social media platform, Trump tweeted that he would not be attending the inauguration.
“To all of those who have asked, I will not be going to the Inauguration on January 20th” – said his tweet.
It is believed that instead of attending the inauguration ceremony, Trump will hold an early morning ceremony for himself, and reports say that it will include a 21-gun salute. Then he is expected to leave Washington DC along with his wife Melania. They will take residency at Mar-a-Lago, which is previously referred to as the Winter White House by Trump.
The Bidens will be welcomed to the White House by Timothy Harleth. He was employed in the role in 2017, and he was the 7th person to save the role.
Harleth has also worked with Trump before as a director of rooms at the Trump International Hotel in Washington.
According to White House History, White House chief ushers are “the first to welcome new presidents to the White House on inauguration day and the last to bid them farewell at the end of their tenure”
Trump’s refusal for the traditional welcoming did not sit well with other politicians. A previous Clinton administration office spoke to CNN and quotes : “I recall both interactions that then first lady Hillary Clinton had with Barbara Bush in 1992 when she first arrived at the White House, and in 2000 when she hosted Laura Bush. Both were after contentious campaigns and both visits could not have been more gracious and welcoming.”
On the contrary to the President, the Vice President Mike Pence declared that he will be attending the inauguration, and he has also spoken to Kamala Harris, his successor and offered his congratulations.
Kamala Harris will be moving to the Number One Observatory Circle upon taking office, but the information if Pence will be greeting her is yet unreleased.
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