For two decades, the president met with the American Nobel laureates. But this year, President Trump won’t be meeting with the eight American Nobel recipients before they travel to Sweden in December. But they’re not exactly losing sleep over it either.
Two of the Nobel Prize winners said they wouldn’t have attended the White House even if they were invited. Biophysicist Joachim Frank, the Nobel winner in chemistry, told STAT that he was “very relieved” to learn that the President had no plans to invite them.
“I will not put my foot into the White House as long as Trump, Pence, or Ryan (i.e., the possible succession of impeachments) will occupy it,” Frank said. “I cannot speak for the others; don’t know them personally yet, but I strongly believe that as thinking intelligent people they will have a similar attitude as I.”
When asked why the meeting wouldn’t take place, a White House spokesperson said that Trump’s 12-day trip to Hawaii and Asia didn’t make it possible this year.
George W. Bush started the tradition in 2001, and hosted each year except for 2006, when former Vice President Dick Cheney filled in. Barack Obama hosted each year of his tenure except for 2009—because he was awarded a Nobel Prize himself. Bill Clinton also held greetings with the Nobel winners on numerous occasions, but Bush solidified the tradition.
Maybe next year Trump will bother to acknowledge the Americans best representing the country. Although, since Obama received the Honor, Trump probably wants to deport anyone who does win the award.