Barack and Michelle Obama make first joint return to White House for portrait unveiling

Barack and Michelle Obama Credit: AP

Barack and Michelle Obama have returned to the White House for the unveiling of their official portraits.

Hosted by President Joe Biden, about five years after the former president left office, the couple took part in a long-standing White House tradition.

Traditionally the former president returns during their successor's time in office, however the Obamas did not have a ceremony while Donald Trump was in the oval office.

A large formal portrait of the former president and his first lady will now adorn a wall, much like those who came before already do.

It will be Ms Obama's first visit to the White House since leaving in 2017. However it will be the second for Mr Obama, who marked 12 years of Obamacare earlier this year.

A reporter asked White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre if President Biden would hold a ceremony for Trump if the portraits of him and former First Lady Melania Trump are ready during Biden's current term.

Jean-Pierre deferred the question to the White House Historical Association.

"They lead the process on official portraits for both presidents and their spouses. So that question goes, lies with them," she said.

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know