Sometime in the last couple of weeks, the Trump administration had the official portraits of former Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton removed from their prominent spots in the White House’s Grand Foyer and hung in a rarely used room.
The former president’s portraits were replaced with Republican presidents who served more than a century ago.
It is a White House tradition for portraits of the most recent American presidents to be given the most prominent placement, in the foyer of the White House so that they are visible to guests.
The portraits hung in the foyer on July 8 when Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador visited the White House. Trump and Obrador stood in the Cross Hall and made comments and the portraits could clearly be seen in the background.
Sometime after the Mexican president’s visit Bush and Clinton’s portraits were removed and hung in the Old Family Dining Room, a small room that is rarely used and is not seen by visitors.
Being in the Old Family Dining Room places the paintings out of Trump’s vantage point in the White House. Where the portraits hung in the foyer Trump saw them on a daily basis. The portraits are now hidden away in a room used to store unused furniture.
Trump refused to hold the official hanging of former President Barack Obama’s portrait. It is not expected to be unveiled for its formal ceremony during Trump’s term. Trump has accused Obama of “unsubstantiated and unspecified crimes,” all of which he has no evidence. Trump also questioned if Obama was born in the United States.
Trump has criticized both Bush and Clinton. John Bolton, Trump’s former national security advisor wrote in his tell-all book about his time in the Trump administration that Trump “despised” Bush and Clinton. Trump reportedly referred to Bush as “stupid” and stated that Clinton was a “bad president.”
George W. Bush’s portrait was replaced by a portrait of William McKinley, the 25th president who was assassinated in 1901. Clinton’s portrait was replaced by one of Theodore Roosevelt.