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."