According to some outlets, President Donald Trump seemingly made no effort to greet President Jimmy Carter, the oldest living American president, during the funeral service for President George H.W. Bush. As Trump and his wife arrived to sit in the “President’s Club” pew at the Washington National Cathedral, Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, looked straight ahead.
The reception for First Lady Melania was lukewarm, but the chilly lack of a greeting for Donald Trump was palpable, according to a report from USA Today. As Trump sat down, he reached over to shake Michelle Obama’s hand when she extended it over her husband and the current first lady, but the sitting president didn’t wave to the 94-year-old Carter, who sat five people down on the end of the aisle.
After the lack of a greeting, President Carter checked his watch and turned his head away from the others to chat with his wife, former First Lady Rosalynn Carter. As everyone was seated, everyone in the “President’s Club” pew sat quietly, eyes forward.
“President Donald Trump stared straight ahead. Former President Bill Clinton scanned the program. Former President Jimmy Carter checked his watch,” the USA Today piece reads.
— Will Tooke (@willtooketv) December 5, 2018
However, one or two lucky photographers were able to catch a picture of Carter seemingly giving Trump some serious side eye after the sitting president apparently made no effort to greet him or the Clintons, according to the Huffington Post. On social media, many people pointed out that to get a dirty look from Jimmy Carter, you had to have made a mistake.
“You know it’s bad when Jimmy Carter does not acknowledge you either!”
But CNBC commented that it was the lack of reaction from President Trump that was notable and the respectful way in which everyone else approached the situation. Republican strategist Sara Fagen commented that, even at a stressful time in the United States, the remaining living presidents could come together out of respect for President George H.W. Bush and his son, George W. Bush.
“It has been a very tumultuous political time over the last several years so I think a moment like this is even greater and more poignant because of the times that we live in.”
After Donald Trump was not invited to the April funeral for Barbara Bush, President George H.W. Bush made it clear that the current president would be welcome at his service when he passed. The Bush family also made it clear that Trump was welcome, as they wanted the day to be about their patriarch and not overshadowed by a seeming rift with President Trump.