First Lady Melania Trump Hosts Roundtable Discussion On Sickle Cell Anemia
First Lady Melania Trump Hosts Roundtable Discussion On Sickle Cell Anemia

Melania Trump ditches FLOTUS tradition

The US First Lady is renowned for doing things her own way but it seems there is one aspect of the recent election on which she is united with her husband - a refusal to reach out to her successor.

Melania Trump last appeared in public on election night when President Trump vowed that he did win the US election and made baseless allegations of voter fraud.

Now more than a week after Americans took to the polls, he has still refused to concede defeat to Joe Biden with his family following suit.

Traditionally, an incumbent President would have invited his successor to the White House by now in a symbolic demonstation that the peaceful transition of power would begin.

Mr Trump has not done that, and Mrs Trump has also refused to reach out to Dr Jill Biden as First Ladies before her have done.

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A source familiar with the First Lady told CNN it was "business as usual" in the East Wing and she is yet to contact Dr Biden.

Instead, much of the First Lady's focus remains on daily meetings and plans for the upcoming holidays the source said, adding that her position is complicated by Trump's decision to dig in and fight the result.

"I'm not sure it's fair for anyone to expect them to start transitioning when the President has not yet conceded," the source said.

"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."

Former chief of staff to Laura Bush, Anita McBride, said Mrs Trump is in a difficult position as if she were to reach out it could undermine her husband's efforts to fight the election result.

"This moment is more complicated. Her reaching out before he has conceded could be seen as going completely against what the President and the administration are doing."

It comes as Trump's campaign is planning to hold a series of campaign-style rallies around the country to build support for their legal challenges.

An Axios report suggests Republicans may switch their focus to trying to get states to fail to certify their electoral college votes, denying Joe Biden the official chance of winning 270 votes in the electoral college which pave the way to the presidency.

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The Trumps decision to hold on out in facilitating an easy transition could make things complicated for the Bidens. While both already know their way around the White House having worked there under the Obama presidency, the inauguration runs to a tight schedule with much to be done in the weeks ahead in terms of allowing the two families to trade places.

Former First Lady Laura Bush met with Michelle Obama in the White House in November 2008, and their staff talked regularly to ensure the incoming team did not have to start from scratch.

Likewise, Mrs Obama met with Melania Trump in private shortly after it became apparent she would be the new First Lady.



Melania Trump meets Michelle Obama at the White House. Picture: Chuck Kennedy/White House
Melania Trump meets Michelle Obama at the White House. Picture: Chuck Kennedy/White House


Melania Trump and Dr Jill Biden. Pictures: AFP
Melania Trump and Dr Jill Biden. Pictures: AFP

Dr Jill Biden will be a history-making First Lady due to her commitment to education and the day job she holds as a teacher.

She will be the first woman in the role in 231 years with a full-time teaching job, reportedly planning to continue her work when she takes up one of the world's most scrutinised roles.

The 69-year-old, who worked as a public school teacher for 20 years, has been hailed for her commitment to education after joining husband, president-elect Joe Biden on stage for his acceptance speech, who also credited her "dedicating her life to education".

"Teaching isn't just what she does - it's who she is," he said.

"For America's educators, this is a great day: You're going to have one of your own in the White House, and Jill is going to make a great First Lady."


Originally published as Melania Trump ditches FLOTUS tradition