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Melania Trump's gift to Michelle Obama came in Tiffany's box

By
Eric DuVall
Melania Trump greets first lady Michelle Obama with gift in hand Friday at the White House for tea before the inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI
Melania Trump greets first lady Michelle Obama with gift in hand Friday at the White House for tea before the inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo

Jan. 20 (UPI) -- Incoming first lady Melania Trump maintained a longstanding tradition on an Inaugural Day steeped in such pageantry, offering outgoing first lady Michelle Obama a gift as the couples met for coffee at the White House.

Melania Trump emerged with her husband, President-elect Donald Trump, from the motorcade at the White House North Portico on Friday, holding an unmistakable baby blue box from Tiffany's. The offering provided a brief moment of awkwardness, as Michelle Obama thanked Melania Trump, then looked in vain for an aide to take the box so the couples could pose for pictures. Finding no one besides the Marine guards standing at attention, eventually President Barack Obama took the box and briefly ducked inside to set it down before returning for the photo-op with the Trumps.

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The tradition of the incoming first lady offering her outgoing counterpart a gift goes back several administrations, though it isn't precisely clear who started it.

Upon her husband taking office in 2009, Michelle Obama gave outgoing first lady Laura Bush a diary and engraved silver pen, accompanied by a note, urging her to fill it with White House memories that would serve as the basis of her autobiography.

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Michelle Obama was not the only member of the outgoing first family to receive a present. As is customary, the White House staff presented President Barack Obama with two flags, the one that flew over the White House on his first day in office, and the one that flew over the White House on Friday morning, his final day.

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