The tradition of presidents unveiling the official White House portrait of their predecessor will not take place under President TrumpDonald TrumpNoem touts South Dakota coronavirus response, knocks lockdowns in CPAC speech On The Trail: Cuomo and Newsom — a story of two embattled governors McCarthy: 'I would bet my house' GOP takes back lower chamber in 2022 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 ObamaO.T. Fagbenle to play Barack Obama in Showtime anthology 'The First Lady' Gillian Anderson to play Eleanor Roosevelt in series on first ladies Obama, Springsteen launch eight-episode podcast 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 CarterJimmy and Rosalynn Carter return to Georgia church after vaccinations The progressive case for the Hyde Amendment COVID-19 pork or more shots? 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.