Melania snubs meeting Jill Biden as First Lady-to-be unveils advisors

Oliver O'Connell
·3-min read
Jill Biden says she can’t ‘wait to get our White House team started’, despite continued silence from Melania Trump (Getty Images)
Jill Biden says she can’t ‘wait to get our White House team started’, despite continued silence from Melania Trump (Getty Images)

As Dr Jill Biden acknowledged the fast-approaching inauguration, tweeting: “One week”, and began announcing her plans for her time in the White House, the current first lady Melania Trump has reportedly still not made any contact with her.

Dr Biden intends to continue her work on issues affecting military families. Ms Trump's plans for her post-White House life are unknown.

One of the grand traditions of the transition of power is when the President-elect and incoming first lady visit the White House in the period following the election to meet with the outgoing first family – this year, it is missing.

After a hard-fought election it is usually seen as a way of mending fences and fostering a sense of unity. It was a tradition honoured by the Obamas to the Trumps, but not one afforded by the latter to the Bidens.

There is certainly no love lost between Donald Trump and Joe Biden following a painfully drawn-out election mired by baseless allegations of electoral fraud; and then the horrifying violence of the assault on the Capitol by rioters loyal to Mr Trump.

Watch: President Donald Trump condemns Capitol riot and concedes election to Joe Biden

When the president tweeted that he would not be going to the inauguration on 20 January, President-elect Biden deemed it a “good thing” and that ignoring the tradition of the attendance of the outgoing commander-in-chief was “one of the few things he and I have ever agreed on”.

Ms Trump, for weeks unsure of her status, has meanwhile been quietly packing up the White House and working on a coffee table book of rugs and ornaments of the executive mansion.

CNN reports that on top of not making contact with Dr Biden, she has also not established an office to continue her “Be Best” initiative beyond her time in Washington.

Much like her husband, she is accused of having abdicated any responsibilities associated with her official role. A statement issued five day after the storming of Congress did little to soothe or heal the nation, and was the first Americans had heard from here since being wished happy New Year.

Dr Biden meanwhile is already planning her priorities when she takes up residence at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

“In 2011, Michelle Obama and I launched Joining Forces to support military service members, veterans, their families, caregivers and survivors,” she tweeted on Thursday. “As a military mom, I was so proud of this work and I couldn’t wait to get our White House team started.”

Dr Biden announced that she is appointing Rory Brosius as the executive director of the support programme for military families that she plans to revive. The former second lady continued her work with military families through the Biden Foundation after the end of the Obama administration.

Ms Brosius, the wife of a Marine Corps veteran, has been part of the president-elect’s transition team and was a senior adviser to Dr Biden on the campaign trail.

The Joining Forces programme focused on education, employment and wellness. The Bidens bring perspective on military family issues gained through their late son Beau Biden’s service in the Delaware Army National Guard.

The outgoing Trump administration had a focus on veterans welfare and building up the strength of the military.

Ms Trump and second lady Karen Pence also worked on military family support issues, but not under the banner of Joining Forces.

With additional reporting from The Associated Press

Watch: President-elect Joe Biden denounces Capitol Hill violence

Read More

What was Melania Trump doing during the Capitol riots?

Melania Trump faces outcry over her comments about ‘personal attacks’

Melania has ‘blood on her hands’ over Capitol riots, says former aide

Melania Trump’s chief of staff resigns over riots at Capitol building

What Melania Trump’s self-pitying statement about the Capitol tells us