Trump Is Skipping Barbara Bush's Funeral

Melania will represent White House
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 20, 2018 1:28 AM CDT
The US flag is seen lowered to half-staff on the grounds of President Trump's Mar-a-Lago club, Wednesday, April 18, 2018 in Palm Beach, Fla.   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
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(Newser) – President Trump won't be joining his wife in attending the memorial service of former first lady Barbara Bush, matriarch of a political dynasty that Trump often clashed with during his 2016 campaign. The White House said Thursday that Trump would not attend "to avoid disruptions due to added security, and out of respect for the Bush Family and friends attending the service." Trump is expected to be at his Florida estate this weekend during Saturday's funeral in Houston for the wife and mother of presidents, the AP reports. Trump offered his condolences to the Bush family on Wednesday, calling Barbara Bush "a titan in American life. Her presence and character were engraved into America's identity."

But during his anti-establishment presidential campaign, Trump often held out the Bush family as an example of the political status quo, and wielded anti-dynastic sentiment against both Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton. Barbara Bush, for her part, said in a February 2016 interview with CBS News that Trump was like a "showman" and she didn't "know how women can vote for someone" like him. Intermediaries say a presidential appearance at the funeral would have brought more attention to the 2016 primary fight and potentially distracted from Barbara Bush's life and legacy. Bill and Hillary Clinton and Barack and Michelle Obama all plan to attend the funeral. (Obama took flak for skipping Nancy Reagan's funeral.)

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