In the eleventh hour of Donald Trump’s presidency, one more (final?!) bit of history is being made: Melania Trump will not give future First Lady Jill Biden a private tour of the White House living quarters, CNN reports. Trump is the first modern FLOTUS to skip the tradition, which dates back to the 1920s and extends all the way to 2017, when outgoing First Lady Michelle Obama hosted Trump for tea and a review of the private residence.
This isn’t the only break from protocol happening as the Trump presidency comes to an end. The President has already announced that neither he, nor any members of his family, will attend the inauguration. The Trumps are also bypassing the laying of a wreath atop the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Ceremony on Inauguration day. All other former living presidents and their spouses (except for 96-year-old Jimmy Carter) will be present for the ceremony.
“Mrs. Trump should have invited Dr. Biden in for the traditional coffee,” Capricia Marshall, former White House social secretary in the Clinton administration, told The New York Times. “Typically, she would come prepared with questions, she’ll meet and talk to the chef, the full time residence staff and have an opportunity for them to break the ice. It’s a courtesy, but logistically it’s incredibly helpful. That didn’t happen.”
Without an invite from Trump, Biden won’t be able to see where the former FLOTUS stored her Orwellian holiday decorations or infamous I Really Don’t Care, Do U? jacket. It’s a move that Kate Andersen Brower, author of First Women: The Grace and Power of America’s Modern First Ladies, says proves where Melania’s allegiance was the entire presidency. “There’s never been any first lady as stubborn and defiant as Melania Trump,” Brower told CNN. “I think she’s digging in. I think she has channeled her husband’s fury and is obviously not interested in playing the traditional role of a first lady who, in times of crisis, seeks to unite and soothe the country.”
News of Trump’s snub arrives alongside her final address as First Lady of the United States. During her speech, Trump urged the public to “be passionate in everything you do, but always remember that violence is never the answer and will never be justified.” The “Be Best” ambassador also said that people should “use every opportunity to show consideration for another person and build good habits into your daily lives.”
Apparently, that same courtesy couldn’t be extended to the incoming FLOTUS.
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