Donald Trump crossed paths with Bill and Hillary Clinton for the first time since his Inauguration Day, and it appeared that the tension of the 2016 election has yet to disappear.
President Trump sat in the same row as past presidents during the funeral of George H.W. Bush on Wednesday, and video from the Guardian caught what appeared to be a tense moment between him and the couple that have frequently be subject of critique by the president on social media. As Trump made his way to the pew at the National Cathedral, he stopped to shake hands with Barack and Michelle Obama, while Jimmy Carter gave him a nod from down the row. Three seats down, Bill Clinton also turned his head to Trump. Hillary appeared to not look at him.
Many had wondered how Trump and Hillary Clinton might interact, given that the 2016 election and the Clintons have still been topics for Trump, with his recent rallies still hearing the infamous “lock her up” chants by crowds, along with speculation that Clinton may attempt another run for president in 2020.
The awkward moment between Trump and Clinton went viral across the internet, with some noting that Trump seemed entirely out of place inside a church. Unlike his predecessors in the White House, Trump appears to follow the trend of 62 percent of Americans, according to a Gallup poll, who do not regularly attend any church services.
As the Washington Post noted, Trump looked lost at several points during the service.
“When the others sang an opening hymn, his mouth did not move. When the others read the Apostles’ Creed, he stood stoically,” the report noted.
“And when one eulogist after another testified to George H.W. Bush’s integrity and character and honesty and bravery and compassion, Trump sat and listened, often with his lips pursed and his arms crossed over his chest.”
Hillary Clinton refused to acknowledge Donald Trump pic.twitter.com/Ux6rItYkXY
— Edward Hardy (@EdwardTHardy) December 5, 2018
Trump did earn some praise for sticking to proper presidential protocol over the course of the week. After generating controversy for his response to the death of John McCain — which included Trump moving the White House flags up from half-mast after a single day before relenting under bipartisan criticism and lowering them again — Trump was quiet and cordial in the days after Bush’s death. He even offered to have the funeral held at the National Cathedral, which the Washington Post called a “magnanimous gesture.”
The Trumps are seated next to:
1) The president Trump said was illegitimate (Obama)
2) The president he said assaulted women (Clinton)
3) The first lady/SoS he said should be in jail (Hillary)
4) The president he said was the second-worst, behind Obama (Carter) pic.twitter.com/J63WVhs7HU
— Aaron Blake (@AaronBlake) December 5, 2018
Donald Trump was overall well-behaved at the funeral as well, but it doesn’t seem that he and Hillary Clinton will be exchanging Christmas cards anytime soon.