The portraits of former Presidents Bill Clinton and George Bush have been restored to their former prominent place in the White House after they were sidelined during the presidency of Donald Trump, officials told CNN in a report published Monday.
The portraits were rehung in the White House’s grand foyer. They had been removed from the entrance hall in July of 2020 in favor of portraits of the 25th and 26th presidents, William McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt ― both Republicans who served more than a century ago ― in an unusual bucking of tradition, where normally the portraits of recent presidents are given prominent placement.
According to a report by CNN describing the initial move, the portraits of Bush and Clinton were placed in the Old Family Dining Room, well beyond the sight of then-president Trump.
The room, renovated by Michelle Obama during her husband’s tenure as president, was infrequently used during the Trump administration and had been relegated to a storage area, not even shown off during public tours.
Trump hiding portraits of his predecessors ties in with reports that the 45th president largely shunned the idea of one day becoming a member of the exclusive inner circle of former U.S. leaders.
Kate Andersen Brower, author of the book “Team of Five: The Presidents Club in the Age of Trump,” told The Associated Press that Trump had “kind of laughed at the notion that he would be accepted in the presidents club.”
Trump also went out of his way to critique the men who had come before him, frequently accusing the Clintons of corruption during his 2016 presidential bid and even lashing out at Bush for filming a COVID-19 solidarity video in May of 2020.
For their parts, Clinton and Bush were quick to congratulate Joe Biden after his Nov. 3 election win as Trump made accusations of election fraud, and the pair teamed up with Barack Obama ― who does not yet have a White House portrait of his own ― to appear in a short video filmed at Arlington National Cemetery after Biden was sworn in, urging solidarity and healing in America.