The Bush family has conveyed its intention that the planned state funeral for former President George H.W. Bush, who died last Friday, will steer clear of the anti-Trump sentiment seen at Sen. John McCain’s recent funeral.
That’s according to sources familiar with the funeral planning, The Washington Post reported – not that the anti-Trump networks, to include CNN and MSNBC, won’t fill the void.
The Bush family contacted the White House over the summer and said President Trump would be welcome at the senior Bush’s funeral and assured the president that the focus would be on Bush’s life rather than any disagreements between them, the paper noted, citing a former administration official.
A source said the tone of Wednesday’s funeral will reflect the sense of propriety of the 41st president, who “wouldn’t want anyone there to feel uncomfortable, including the incumbent president.”
A former Bush associate echoed that sentiment in talking with Politico.
“This will be about the celebration of the noble public service that George H.W. Bush gave,” the source said. “It’s not going to be about anybody else. I don’t think it’s going to be about Trump.”
Trump, who paid his respects Monday night at the U.S. Capitol, where Bush is lying in state, will not deliver a eulogy — the president will sit in the front row alongside former presidents Barack Obama, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter.
Former President George W. Bush, that late president’s son, will deliver a eulogy.
A person close to the funeral planning suggested to The Post that the Bush family overtures were somewhat pragmatic, given that Trump had final say over important funeral details, including offering Air Force One to carry Bush’s body to Washington for the funeral and back to Texas on Thursday for his burial.
In addition to providing Air Force One, the White House has reportedly met all the Bush family’s requests for the state funeral and allowed them to stay at Blair House, the official guesthouse across the street from the White House.
But even in reporting that there’ll be no animosity toward Trump, The Post’s sources couldn’t help themselves from taking cheap shots.
“It’s interesting, though, that praising the Bushes or McCain risks sounding critical of Trump even when Trump’s in no way part of the thinking,” one of the sources said.
The real question may be who, if anyone, will go rogue at the funeral service.
President Trump did not attend McCain’s funeral at Washington National Cathedral, but his daughter Ivanka Trump and husband Jared Kushner were spotted among the mourners.
First lady Melania Trump represented the White House at former first lady Barbara Bush’s funeral in April, with the White House saying the president skipped it “out of respect for the Bush family.”
Mrs. Trump reportedly conveyed to her husband how gracious the Bush family was toward her.
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