Trump, Obama, Clinton and Carter, all in a row at Bush funeral

President Trump greets former First Lady Michelle Obama at the state funeral for former President George H.W. Bush at the Washington National Cathedral on Wednesday. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)


In a remarkable scene inside the Washington National Cathedral on Wednesday, President Trump joined all four living former presidents at the state funeral for former President George H.W. Bush.

Trump, accompanied by first lady Melania Trump, shook hands with former President Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama before taking a seat on the aisle in the first row along with former President Bill Clinton, former first lady and ex-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, former President Jimmy Carter and former first lady Rosalynn Carter.

Trump did not extend a hand to the Clintons, who were seated next to the Obamas, though Melania Trump shook hands with Bill Clinton as Trump gave his coat to their military escort.

It was the first time since his inauguration that Trump encountered the Obamas and Clintons — who have been highly critical of his presidency — in person.

George H.W. Bush, who voted for Hilary Clinton over Trump in the 2016 president election, didn’t attend Trump’s inauguration.

The president did not attend the funeral of former first lady Barbara Bush in April, although first lady Melania Trump did, and was photographed in a group with both former presidents Bush, the Obamas and the Clintons, raising some eyebrows when she warmly greeted Barack and Michelle Obama.

Trump was not invited to the funeral in September of Sen. John McCain, who he repeatedly criticized for voting against his health care plan to replace Obamacare. George W. Bush and Barack Obama both delivered eulogies at McCain’s funeral, and Bush jokingly gave Michelle Obama a mint during the service — a gag he repeated upon arriving at the Washington National Cathedral Wednesday.

In her recently published memoir, Michelle Obama wrote that she will “never forgive” Trump for pushing the so-called birther conspiracy, which she believes put her family’s safety at risk.

All the living presidents and their wives were sitting together in the first row of Washington’s National Cathedral, and when former President George W. Bush arrived, he greeted all of them. He shook hands with President Trump, Melania Trump and former President Barack Obama, but when he got to Michelle, he did something noticeably different. He leaned in and handed her something small, and in response, the Obamas laughed and smiled.

It’s unclear what it was, but the exchange was reminiscent of one that took place at the funeral in September of Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. As Michelle Obama later revealed, George W. was handing her a cough drop; so everyone is assuming that he was repeating the gesture at his father’s funeral.

Others think it could be a mint.

Whatever it was, people cannot get enough of this small sign of their close relationship.

“President Bush and I, we are forever seatmates because of protocol, and that’s how we sit at all the official functions,” Michelle Obama said in an interview on the Today show in October. “He’s my partner in crime at every major thing where all the ‘formers’ gather. So we’re together all the time,” she added. “I love him to death,” she gushed. “He’s a wonderful man, he’s a funny man.”

So, that explains the initial cough drop exchange. “It was a simple gesture,” she said of what happened at McCain’s funeral. George W. Bush was getting a cough drop from his wife, and she wanted one too. “I looked over and I said, ‘Hand me a cough drop.'” And a tradition was started.
~Yahoo News
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