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Washington - Trump On The Fringes Of Presidents' Group At Bush's Service

Published on: December 5, 2018 04:00 PM
By: AP
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 President Donald Trump, first lady Melania Trump, former President Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, and former President Bill Clinton listen during a State Funeral at the National Cathedral, in Washington, DC, USA, 05 December 2018.  EPA President Donald Trump, first lady Melania Trump, former President Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, and former President Bill Clinton listen during a State Funeral at the National Cathedral, in Washington, DC, USA, 05 December 2018.  EPA

Washington - The nation’s most exclusive fraternity — the presidents club — assembled Wednesday to mourn George H.W. Bush, putting on public display its uneasy relationship with the current occupant of the Oval Office. The uncomfortable reunion brought President Donald Trump together in the same pew with past White House residents who have given him decidedly critical reviews.

The late Bush was the de facto chair of the modern incarnation of the president’s club, transcending contentious campaigns and party lines to bring together fractious personalities who share that rarified experience. But the staid group of Oval Office occupants has been disturbed since Donald Trump’s election. And since his swearing-in, Trump has spurned most contact with his predecessors — and they have snubbed him in return.

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The Bushes had made it known to the White House months ago that, despite differences in policy and temperament, the late president wanted Trump to attend the national service. The ceremony’s tributes at times stood as an unspoken counterpoint to Trump’s leadership, as historian Jon Meacham eulogized Bush by recounting his life’s credo: “Tell the truth, don’t blame people, be strong, do your best, try hard, forgive, stay the course.” George W. Bush added of his father: “He could tease and needle, but not out of malice.”

Ahead of Wednesday’s state funeral for the late president, former presidents Barack Obama, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter and their spouses chatted easily among themselves from their seats in the front row at Washington’s National Cathedral. The ex-presidents leaned over their wives to chat with one another. Bill Clinton and former first lady Michelle Obama shared a quiet conversation.

But the Trumps’ arrival, minutes ahead of the motorcade carrying Bush’s casket, cast a pall on the conversation. First lady Melania Trump approached first, greeting both Obamas and former President Clinton with a handshake. Hillary Clinton appeared to nod at Mrs. Trump but did not interact with Trump himself and stared straight ahead during the service. Jimmy Carter waved a hand. The president then shook hands with both Obamas before taking his seat.

After that, the small talk along the row largely stopped.

Next followed George W. Bush, who, by contrast, shook hands with the entire row of dignitaries — and appeared to share a moment of humor with Michelle Obama, slipping something into her hand. Bush took his seat across the aisle from the ex-presidents, with the rest of the Bush family.

The Trump-Obama handshake marked the first direct interaction between the current president and his immediate predecessor since Inauguration Day 2017. Trump has not spoken to Democrats Clinton or Obama since that day.

He did speak with the younger Bush during the contentious confirmation process for Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, as the previous Republican president helped lobby for his former aide. Democrat Carter has been briefed by White House officials on North Korea, though it was not clear if he has engaged directly with Trump.

Trump has sought to meet the elder Bush’s passing with grace, a contrast to the rhythms of much of his tumultuous presidency. He came to office after a campaign in which he harshly criticized his Democratic predecessors and co-opted a Republican Party once dominated by the Bush family. Despite the traditional kinship among presidents, Trump’s predecessors have all made their discomfort known in different ways.



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Read Comments (13)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Dec 05, 2018 at 04:14 PM stamnamefortrump Says:

Fake news headline.
Trump isn't a part of ex president club because he isn't an ex president. Also the Clinton's should be locked up for causing all the trouble for trump instead of being good loser

2

 Dec 05, 2018 at 04:27 PM Hashomer Says:

Toxic Trumf is not my president. He stole the election from Hillary. RESIST and IMPEACH

2

 Dec 05, 2018 at 04:32 PM Hashomer Says:

What an imbecile Trumpf is. He can't even act w dignity at a funeral. But yelling 'Schvartza' in a crowded cathedral takes the cake!

3

 Dec 05, 2018 at 05:07 PM Anonymous Says:

he clearly looks more comfortable with Putin, Kim, Saudi King etc.

4

 Dec 05, 2018 at 05:21 PM Anonymous Says:

Fake news from the biased left wing media, enemy of the people. The big difference between John McCain and George H.W. Is the latter had the class to rightfully give respect to the current president, and put aside any petty differences like McCain unfortunately chose to do. And notice how the filthy POS Obama y’s sits with his big head up like the egotist he is. I guess he’s lucky he’s too ignorant and clueless to,realize was a failure of a president he was. He’s lucky he’s black as any criticism of him was deflected by labeling the honest critic a racist.

5

 Dec 05, 2018 at 06:30 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #2  
Hashomer Says:

Toxic Trumf is not my president. He stole the election from Hillary. RESIST and IMPEACH

So which country are you moving to? Let us know so we can help you pack.

6

 Dec 05, 2018 at 07:12 PM hashomer Says:

Reply to #2  
Hashomer Says:

Toxic Trumf is not my president. He stole the election from Hillary. RESIST and IMPEACH

I'm in your head Mr. Troll. Stop sniffing your fingers and try using your own name for VIN posts, not mine. Go back to the Orange Fuhrer's Bunker where you belong.
THE REAL HaSHOMER (FEH)

7

 Dec 05, 2018 at 11:17 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #6  
hashomer Says:

I'm in your head Mr. Troll. Stop sniffing your fingers and try using your own name for VIN posts, not mine. Go back to the Orange Fuhrer's Bunker where you belong.
THE REAL HaSHOMER (FEH)

Actually it’s president Trump that’s in YOUR head, you clueless idiot,

8

 Dec 05, 2018 at 11:18 PM hashomer Says:

Reply to #6  
hashomer Says:

I'm in your head Mr. Troll. Stop sniffing your fingers and try using your own name for VIN posts, not mine. Go back to the Orange Fuhrer's Bunker where you belong.
THE REAL HaSHOMER (FEH)

Trump is really a very good president. I must admit I was wrong to call him names and make fun of him. Now I see he really did make America great again, I’m going to vote for him in 2020. (The real hashomer).

9

 Dec 06, 2018 at 10:09 AM Abramowitz Says:

George W. Bush (#43), was not seated with the former Presidents, but was seated with his own family. Hence, It would have been better if Trump had been seated next to George W. Bush, whom he has cordial relations with. What sense did it make to have him seated next to people, whom he despises (i.e. the Obamas, Clintons, and even Jimmie Carter)? Clearly, he was very uncomfortable being seated there, as were the ex-Presidents and their wives, especially Ms. Hillary. Whomever made those seating arrangements truly had a goyish kupp (i.e. no seichel)!

10

 Dec 06, 2018 at 11:45 AM AmYisroel Says:

Reply to #9  
Abramowitz Says:

George W. Bush (#43), was not seated with the former Presidents, but was seated with his own family. Hence, It would have been better if Trump had been seated next to George W. Bush, whom he has cordial relations with. What sense did it make to have him seated next to people, whom he despises (i.e. the Obamas, Clintons, and even Jimmie Carter)? Clearly, he was very uncomfortable being seated there, as were the ex-Presidents and their wives, especially Ms. Hillary. Whomever made those seating arrangements truly had a goyish kupp (i.e. no seichel)!

because dope the bush family sat together as the are the mourners and the guests sit separately from them with the President and formers sitting prominently in the front row

11

 Dec 06, 2018 at 01:11 PM Anonymous Says:

To #10- It is you who are the dope; there is no legal or statutory requirement for all of the ex-Presidents to sit together with the current President, at a funeral. Clearly, all of them were very uncomfortable being seated near Trump, as was he. If you are making a wedding or a Bar-Mitzvah reception, do you seat relatives or friends who despise each other, at the same table? Clearly, you have no brains, and to quote Trump, you are of low IQ!

12

 Dec 06, 2018 at 01:14 PM qazxc Says:

Reply to #10  
AmYisroel Says:

because dope the bush family sat together as the are the mourners and the guests sit separately from them with the President and formers sitting prominently in the front row

What did insulting him as a 'dope' add to your comment, other than sinas chinam?

13

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