The tradition of presidents unveiling the official White House portrait of their predecessor will not take place under President TrumpDonald John TrumpSessions accepts 'Fox News Sunday' invitation to debate, Tuberville declines Priest among those police cleared from St. John's Church patio for Trump visit Trump criticizes CNN on split-screen audio of Rose Garden address, protesters clashing with police MORE, according to NBC News, citing people familiar with the matter.

Former President Obama is uninterested in participating in the tradition with Trump in office, while Trump has lately stepped up his attacks on his predecessor and accused him of unspecified crimes.

"You've got a president who's talking about putting the previous one in legal jeopardy, to put it nicely. We have not seen a situation like that in history," presidential historian Michael Beschloss told NBC. "It takes antipathy of a new president for a predecessor to a new level."


The official portrait is distinct from the presidential portraits hung in the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery, where the Obamas’ portraits premiered in 2018, with the former president painted by Kehinde Wiley and Michelle ObamaMichelle LeVaughn Robinson ObamaMichelle Obama celebrates seniors, tells them to 'breathe deep and dance your heart out' at virtual prom The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Mnuchin: More COVID-19 congressional action ahead Michelle Obama working with 31 mayors on increasing voter participation MORE painted by Amy Sherald.

The artists behind official White House portraits, meanwhile, are kept confidential, with a contract negotiated by the White House Historical Association, according to NBC. Association president Stewart McLaurin said in 2017 that discussions with the Obamas were ongoing.

A contract was reportedly finalized that year and an artist selected, but the process was halted before the next step, which would involve the former president and first lady sitting for portraits, providing feedback to the artists and giving the portrait final approval.

At this stage, the portrait is typically delivered to the White House curator, who is responsible for scheduling the unveiling, according to NBC.

"It's a statement of generosity on [the part of] the current president and first lady," former White House curator Betty Monkman said in an interview with the White House Historical Association in 2017. "And it's a very warm, lovely moment."

The first such East Room ceremony with a president and his immediate predecessor was held in 1978 between then-President Jimmy CarterJimmy CarterThe Democrats' out-party advantage in 2020 Have the courage to recognize Taiwan Respect your Elders — a call to action MORE and Gerald Ford, although Lady Bird Johnson had previously hosted ceremonies with Eleanor Roosevelt and Bess Truman, and Richard and Pat Nixon hosted Jacqueline Kennedy in 1971.