Entertainment Celebrity Melania Trump snubs future FLOTUS Jill Biden by canning traditional White House tour

Melania Trump snubs future FLOTUS Jill Biden by canning traditional White House tour

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In her final days as First Lady of the United States, Melania Trump has made headlines for snubbing her successor Jill Biden and delivering a contradictory farewell address.

Ms Trump is preparing to vacate the premises, but not before her final farewell.

In a six-minute speech, the 50-year-old told viewers to “be passionate in everything you do”.

Ms Trump also preached “love over hatred” and that citizens should “always remember that violence is never the answer and will never be justified”.

Some found Ms Trump’s words confusing given her husband’s landmark second impeachment for allegedly encouraging an insurrection, and their refusal to attend President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration.

Adding insult to injury, Ms Trump has decided to skip the time-honoured tradition of welcoming the next presidential administration by offering the future First Lady a tour of the White House.

Dating back to the 1950s, when Elizabeth ‘Bessie’ Truman invited her replacement, Mamie Eisenhower for tea, the First Lady tour is supposed to symbolise a peaceful transition of power.

Bessy Truman, Mamie Eisenhower
Ms Truman started the tradition with Ms Eisenhower in 1952. Photo: Getty

While the Trumps’ time in office can hardly be described as peaceful, the latest snub has left some social media users incensed.

Many have taken to Twitter to call out the outgoing First Lady for her classless act.

Warm welcomes from the past

For decades, the First Lady tour has been an exciting element of the presidential transition.

Following her tour with Ms Truman, Ms Eisenhower carried on the tradition by hosting Jackie Kennedy before John F Kennedy’s inauguration in 1961.

Jackie Kennedy eisenhower
Ms Kennedy toured the grounds with Ms Eisenhower. Photo: Getty 

Sadly, Ms Kennedy did not participate in the tour with her successor, Claudia ‘Lady Bird’ Johnson, as the inauguration directly followed Mr Kennedy’s assassination.

Since then, the First Ladies of the past have made a point of warmly welcoming their replacements.

Many were disappointed at the snub considering the friendly welcome Ms Trump’s predecessor, Michelle Obama, gave her upon the Trumps’ arrival at the White House.

Michelle Obama Melania Trump
Ms Trump was hosted by Ms Obama in 2017. Photo: Getty 

But while the tradition is more of a symbolic gesture than an actual tour (particularly since Dr Biden would already know her way around after spending eight years as Second Lady during the Obama administration), there are still a few changes since she was there last.

A new White House

Ms Trump has long been criticised for her questionable taste for interior design (who can forget her infamous Christmas decor).

In her four years in the White House, the FLOTUS oversaw a number of different renovation projects that aimed to refresh some of its most famous rooms.

In one memorable renovation blunder in the White House bowling alley, Ms Trump rebranded the estate’s bowling balls with the wrong logo.

The balls featured incorrect logos that said ‘The President’s House’, rather than the White House’s nickname, ‘The People’s House’.

At the time, fans questioned whether it was an honest mistake or a pointed statement.

The alley was also redone to showcase a large ‘Be Best’ art decal on the wall, paying tribute to Ms Trump’s philanthropic campaign of the same name.

But there are some restoration successes that the incoming FLOTUS can look forward to, like the revamped wall fabric in the Red Room, the restored furniture in the Blue Room and the repurposed curtains in the Green Room.

Dr Biden may also be interested in taking an outdoor stroll in the newly renovated, semi-roseless Rose Garden.

Vice President Joe Biden holds hands with his wife Jill Biden while walking to the Rose Garden to announce that he will not seek the presidency during a statement with U.S. President Barack Obama in the Rose Garden of the White House October 21, 2015 in Washington, DC
Joe Biden and wife Jill Biden at the White House in 2015. Photo: Getty

Ms Trump drew criticism from all angles when she unveiled her refurbished Rose Garden (which drastically cut down the number of roses) amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The garden had not been renovated since Ms Kennedy oversaw the project with horticulturist and philanthropist Rachel ‘Bunny’ Mellon in 1962.

Critics panned the new garden and believed the renovation unnecessary and tone-deaf given the dire state of the pandemic in the US.

But some are hoping the Bidens’ entry into the White House will be an opportunity for the future FLOTUS to restore some of its spaces to their former glory.

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