George HW Bush Invited Donald Trump To His Funeral Because He Didn't Want To 'Stiff' A Sitting POTUS

Aaron Homer

George HW Bush invited Donald Trump to his funeral because he didn't want to "stiff" a sitting president, says a presidential historian who knew the 41st president personally, Yahoo News is reporting.

Douglas Brinkley, a Rice University history professor and author, says that Bush Sr.'s beliefs on Donald Trump were complicated, at best (more on that in a few paragraphs). Nevertheless, he revered the office he used to hold, and for that reason, he believed that to deny a sitting president a place at a former president's funeral would have been untoward.

"For Bush 41, Trump is the president, and he does not want to stiff a sitting president, so in his own way, it is magnanimous that he is having Melania and Donald Trump come."

That was a deliberate choice, says Brinkley.

"The cruder aspects of Donald Trump — the mean Twitters and the name calling — [Bush] found that gauche, and that is why Barbara Bush did not want Donald Trump at her funeral."

But for George HW Bush, things are different when a former president dies, even when that former president didn't always see eye to eye with a sitting president.

As for Bush 41's own relationship with Trump, it was complicated.

On the one hand, says Brinkley, the elder Bush found Trump's use of his job as a bully pulpit to be disrespectful to the office.

"I think that [Bush] had such respect for the institution of the presidency that Trump annoyed him because he was trying to divide the country at times."

George HW Bush's funeral is scheduled to take place on Wednesday.