Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is scheduled to visit the White House for a public event next week, but the plans are in flux because first lady Jill Biden tested positive for Covid, according to two people familiar with the planning.
Clinton is scheduled to appear with the first lady Tuesday at a ceremony honoring winners of a prestigious international arts award, the sources said. But, they said, because Jill Biden tested positive for Covid this week, the joint appearance of the current and former first ladies may not happen.
If Biden is unable to attend, however, the event will go forward at the White House with Clinton, a person familiar with the planning said.
The first lady's office said Wednesday that Biden continues to have mild symptoms.
If Tuesday’s ceremony takes place, it would be the first time Clinton has appeared at a public event at the Biden White House.
During President Joe Biden’s first year in office, Clinton met privately at the White House with Vice President Kamala Harris, said a person familiar with the meeting. The source didn’t know whether Clinton also met in person with the president, though the two have spoken on the phone, said a person familiar with the matter. Clinton was also among the dignitaries who attended a dinner with the Bidens honoring former German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Former President Bill Clinton had lunch with Biden at the White House last year.
President Biden is scheduled to be traveling overseas until late Monday. It’s unclear whether he would have any time with Hillary Clinton if she is at the White House for the arts event.
The event is to honor recipients of Japan’s Praemium Imperiale, an award sometimes referred to as the “Nobel Prize of the Arts.” The organization announced that Clinton would take part in an event Tuesday announcing the entity that will be awarded its young artists grant.
“The Grant for Young Artists will be also announced at the press conference in Washington DC, presided over by International Advisor, Hillary Rodham Clinton, and followed by the presentation of the grant,” the organization’s website says.
Bill Clinton hosted an event for Praemium Imperiale recipients when he was in office, thanking the winners in each of the five categories — painting, sculpture, architecture, music and film — “for stirring our imaginations and our souls.”
“The world is better for their efforts,” Clinton said at the 1994 East Room ceremony.
Hillary Clinton would appear at the White House next week after a report detailing tensions between her and the Biden administration over the president’s decision to withdraw all U.S. troops from Afghanistan in August 2021.
Clinton said on NBC's “Meet the Press” last year when she was asked about the impact of the chaotic Afghanistan withdrawal on President Biden’s standing with voters: “I don’t think it helped.”