Historically speaking, the First Lady of the United States has always invited her successor over for tea and a tour before her departure. But it seems Melania Trump and Jill Biden’s White House tour won’t even be happening, according to a new report.
A spokesperson for the Biden campaign reportedly confirmed to the Daily Mail on Monday, January 18, that the exiting First Lady did not extend an invitation to Dr. Jill Biden to visit the White House for a personal tour. Melania, 50, is reportedly marking a first with this move. According to CNN columnist Kate Andersen Brower, exiting President Donald Trump’s wife “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.”
The First Lady’s tour and tea tradition dates back to the 1920s, and it’s a custom that even former FLOTUS Michelle Obama upheld after the 2016 presidential election. Former President Barack Obama’s wife graciously welcomed Melania into the White House for a personal tour, and she has even previously spoken out about how important this tradition is.
During a First Ladies summit in July 2013, Michelle noted how grateful she was to her predecessor, Laura Bush, for helping her and her daughters with the transition into the White House. “Having your predecessors be people who are willing to extend themselves on behalf of the country, to help with that transition makes the world of difference,” she said at the time.
“But nothing prepares you,” she continued. “Nothing prepares you for this role. I mean, it is so startling that the transition of power in the United States happens so quickly that you don’t have access to the house until the President takes the oath of office.” Michelle went on to joke, “I remember walking into that house and I didn’t even know where the bathrooms were.”
Unfortunately, it seems that Dr. Jill Biden and her husband, President-Elect Joe Biden, will not have the same courtesy extended to them by the Trump family. Neither Melania nor President Trump have reportedly made personal efforts to reach out to the incoming FLOTUS and POTUS.