The White House has announced that President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump will attend the funeral George H.W. Bush, the 41st President of the United States. The current administration has also declared that Wednesday will be a national day of mourning for the nation’s former leader, USA Today reports.
While it’s often expected for past presidents to attend the funerals of their predecessors, Newsweek reports that there were some doubts that President Trump would be present.
As Newsweek notes, it’s no secret that George H.W. Bush was not particularly fond of Donald Trump. He openly expressed his dislike for the reality TV host turned politician to Mark K. Updegrove, author of the book The Last Republicans. “I don’t like him. I don’t know much about him, but I know he’s a blowhard. And I’m not too excited about him being a leader,” he said. Bush also revealed that he voted for Hillary Clinton during the 2016 presidential election.
For his part, Trump openly criticized the past Republican President for a slogan that’s closely associated with his presidency, “A Thousand Points Of Light.” “What the hell was that, by the way, thousand points of light?… I know one thing: Make America Great Again, we understand… Thousand points of light, I never quite got that one,” Trump said during a rally in Montana.
During his campaign for the Republican nomination, Trump also mocked the deceased president’s son Jeb Bush. As Business Insider notes, Trump teased Jeb for appearing in a campaign ad with his mother, Barbara Bush. “Just watched Jeb’s ad where he desperately needed mommy to help him. Jeb — mom can’t help you with ISIS, the Chinese or with Putin,” Trump tweeted in January 2016.
He also tweeted bizarre edited photographs of Jeb, Business Insider also recalls. One of them featured a forlorn looking Jeb sitting at a table with a chocolate cake on it and a party hat on his head. “John Ellis ‘Jeb’ Bush waiting on supporters to show up” read the text on the photo. It’s likely that these insults only deepened the dislike that Bush family had for Trump
As president, Trump declined to attend the funeral of former first lady Barbara Bush. Melania Trump went by herself. The administration cited security concerns to explain the president’s absence. “To avoid disruptions due to added security, and out of respect for the Bush Family and friends attending the service, President Trump will not attend,” read the statement from the White House.
The former president passed away on Friday night in his home state of Texas at the age of 94. Preparations for George H.W. Bush’s state funeral are currently underway, USA Today reports, but details related to the time of the ceremony and other logistics have not been released.