Since the 2020 presidential election was called for Joe Biden, Donald Trump has refused to concede to the president-elect, per CNBC. A quick scan of Trump’s Twitter feed shows his vehement refusal to accept the results. For example, on Nov. 11, 2020, Trump tweeted, “Everyone is asking why the recent presidential polls were so inaccurate when it came to me. Because they are FAKE, just like much of the Lamestream Media!”
Someone responded to this tweet with a sassy question: “Everyone is asking why you won’t concede and get the f**k out.” But it’s not just Trump who’s refusing to let go of the White House. First lady Melania Trump has, like her husband, been using Twitter to seemingly spread misinformation about the election results. On Nov. 8, 2020, she tweeted, “The American people deserve fair elections. Every legal – not illegal – vote should be counted. We must protect our democracy with complete transparency.”
A Twitter user commented on her post, saying: “You spelled ‘congratulations president elect Joe Biden’ wrong.” And this is precisely the point. With Melania following in her husband’s footsteps and refusing to concede, the Trump administration is bulldozing over the traditions and customs of the White House. In this case specifically, as Voz Wire pointed out, as first lady, Melania’s next step would be to invite Dr. Jill Biden to meet, or at the very least, congratulate her. Instead, Melania has reportedly snubbed the future first lady. Here’s what’s gone down.
Melania Trump is apparently ignoring White House tradition
White House tradition stipulates that the current first lady extends an invitation to the incoming first lady for a meeting. While there is some ceremony around the event (the meeting is usually photographed, there’s tea drinking), there’s also a very practical reason for the event.
The meeting of the first ladies allows the incoming individual, in this case Dr. Jill Biden, a chance to ready her new residence. According to CNN, it gives the new first lady the opportunity to bring in her team and have her chief of staff, as well as the rest of her staff, become familiar with what will be their new work environment.
There’s also the chance to show the new arrival all of the ins and outs of the East Wing, a term given to the White House’s Executive Residency where the president and first family live. As CNN noted, Laura Bush and her daughters gave Michelle Obama and her daughters a full tour, including instructions on how to use the private movie theater and how to slide down the sloped hallway.
In 2016, according to Voz Wire, Michelle Obama extended the invitation to Melania Trump and hosted her at the White House. However, with Melania’s refusal to follow tradition and invite Jill, she’s snubbed her successor. Is Jill offended? Keep reading to find out.
How Jill Biden feels about the supposed snub
With Melania Trump’s reported refusal to congratulate Dr. Jill Biden or invite her to the White House, it seems fair to wonder how Jill is handling the situation. As Voz Wire claimed, Jill is “unaffected by the situation.” Instead, she’s putting together her team and creating an agenda for the East Wing, regardless of Melania’s refusal to acknowledge her. Michael LaRosa, her spokesman, said (per Voz Wire), “Dr. Biden is enormously grateful to the country for electing her husband and Senator Harris. Joe Biden will be a President for all Americans. She is spending time with her children and grandchildren in Wilmington, Delaware.”
Despite Jill’s fortitude, the situation might make things harder for the Bidens when they do move into the White House. Capricia Penavic Marshall, who was a special assistant to Hillary Clinton when she was first lady, explained what should be happening at this point in the process. “By now there would have been at least a conveyance of notes between the current East Wing and the first lady-elect’s team, to talk about dates and schedules and what needs begin to take place,” she explained. “There is a timeline to all of this, and what’s happening now is just going to jam it up,” per CNN.
Despite the discomfort of the situation, it’s complicated for Melania too. Here’s why.
Why Melania Trump may be in a pickle
Melania Trump is in a tough position. Her husband, Donald Trump, has been vehement in disparaging the results of the election and refusing to concede to Joe Biden. But Melania might not actually align with her husband here. As CNN noted, Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and Melania herself have been urging Trump to concede. However, what happens privately and what happens on Twitter are two very different things. That might explain why on Twitter, she’s echoing her husband’s rhetoric that the Democrats “stole” the election.
Anita McBride, who worked for Laura Bush as her chief of staff, explained, “This moment is more complicated. [Melania] reaching out before [Trump] has conceded could be seen as going completely against what the President and the administration are doing,” according to a later publication by CNN.
However, some are remaining optimistic. A source close to Melania told CNN, “If the President concedes, I’m sure the East Wing will be gracious and professional to the incoming administration, that’s just how they work.” Let’s hope so!
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