Outgoing first lady Melania Trump has stuck to familiar themes as she issued a rare video message hours before leaving the White House.
Ms Trump borrowed words from former first lady Michelle Obama – not for the first time – for her farewell speech.
She also ignored the most glaring detail about why she was leaving – her husband, Donald Trump.
In fact, Melania Trump’s speech mentioned her husband the President just once, in passing, and omitted any praise for his time in office.
“As Donald and I conclude our time in the White House, I think of all the people I have taken home in my heart and their incredible stories of love, patriotism, and determination,” Ms Trump said.
Ms Trump has been laying low in recent days after condemning the violent attack on the US Capitol carried out in her husband’s name by his supporters.
During her final address, Ms Trump spoke about her Be Best initiative, imploring Americans to choose “peace over violence”.
“To focus on what unites us. To rise above what divides us. To always choose love over hatred, peace over violence, and others before yourself,” she said.
This most recent marital snub may throw fuel on speculation that the first lady is “counting every minute” before she can file for divorce.
Mr Trump’s former aide and The Apprentice star, Omarosa Manigault Newman, said in November the couple’s “very strange” relationship was on the rocks – and the First Lady was waiting for an out.
Their relationship has been the focus of gossip almost from the outset of Mr Trump’s presidential term.
Ms Trump publicly rejected her husband in 2017, with footage of the first lady swatting Mr Trump’s hand away going viral.
Oh, how familiar
While the snub of her husband has been a familiar theme over the past four years, there was also something very familiar about the outgoing first lady’s parting words – the very first line for example.
“It has been the greatest honour of my life to serve as First Lady of the United States,” Ms Trump said.
Former first lady Michelle Obama ended her farewell address on a very similar note in 2017.
“Being your First Lady has been the greatest honour of my life, and I hope I’ve made you proud,” Ms Obama said.
- Related: Michelle Obama’s farewell speech
It is not the first time Ms Trump has been accused of plucking ideas from the former first lady.
In 2016, she was accused of plagiarising a 2008 Michelle Obama speech for her address at the Republican National Convention.
Ms Trump flatly denied the accusation and maintained she had written the speech herself.
Though the words of Michelle Obama have clearly stuck with Ms Trump, in many ways she has not followed in her predecessor’s footsteps.
While Michelle Obama graciously welcomed her replacement to the White House immediately after Donald Trump won the 2016 election, Melania Trump has refused to do the same for Dr Jill Biden.
Like her husband, Melania has broken from presidential handover traditions.
She will become the first modern First Lady not to invite the woman who will replace her to the White House for a walk-through of the private living quarters on the second and third floors.
As one self-described “defiant” Brooklyn dad pointed out on Twitter, this oversight does not quite meet the standards of the Be Best initiative touted by Ms Trump.
“That’s not very ‘Be Best,’ is it?” he tweeted.
Another Twitter user has taken the snub to be the height of rudeness, describing the outgoing first lady as “Grotesque.”
The Trump family will exit the White House on Wednesday and will not attend the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden.
The affair will be heavily policed due to further threats of violence from Trump-supporters, who still maintain, without evidence, that the election was stolen from Donald Trump.
Donald Trump has also been refused the customary military tribute as he leaves his post as commander in chief.