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At George H. W. Bush’s funeral, 5 presidents meet face to face - National

Category: Political News,Politics

Five U.S. presidents attended the state funeral of former president George H.W. Bush on Wednesday.

Four of them, along with their wives, were seated in a row together.

READ MORE: Last salute for George H.W. Bush at state funeral in Washington D.C.

The former presidents, including Barack Obama, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter, were seated as current president Donald Trump entered with his wife Melania.

In his first public meeting with Trump since the inauguration, Obama and Trump both cordially reached out to shake hands as Trump was seated. Few words were exchanged.

Trump has slammed many of his predecessor’s policies, and personally attacked Obama. Obama, in turn, has campaigned for the Democrats and has attacked the state of the presidency in a pointed rebuke to Trump.

FULL COVERAGE: George H.W. Bush’s state funeral in Washington D.C. 

Trump also shook Michelle Obama’s hand and exchanged a greeting. Michelle Obama had previously denounced Trump’s “birther” campaign from 2008 that questioned her husband’s citizenship and said she’ll “never forgive” him for putting her family at risk.

Clinton acknowledged Trump, but they didn’t shake hands. His wife Hillary – Trump’s former rival – looked straight ahead, despite nodding in acknowledgment to a greeting from Melania.

Former president George W. Bush was seated with the rest of the Bush family, across the aisle.

As he entered, he shook hands with all former presidents and their wives – even handing a candy to Michelle Obama, making her smile.

WATCH: George W. Bush shakes hands with Trump, former presidents

Bush Sr. was 94 when he died Friday night. He has laid in state in Washington since Monday and will lay in state in Houston after the funeral.

He was president from 1989-1993 and was known for overseeing a post-Cold War transition as well as the Gulf War.

The late Bush’s feelings about Trump were harsh at times. In Mark K. Updegrove’s book “The Last Republicans,” published last year, the elder Bush called Trump a “blowhard.”

He said he voted for Clinton in 2016 while George W. Bush said he voted for “none of the above.”

Bush’s family was invited to the White House, appearing to have put aside differences and disagreements between the Bush family and the Trumps. Trump recently ran against Jeb Bush for the Republican nomination in 2016.

Despite any bad blood, the family of the 41st president made it clear that Trump was invited to his funeral – in contrast with the last state funeral for Republican Sen. John McCain.

READ MORE: George H.W. Bush’s mixed and complicated legacy on race

McCain and Trump disagreed on many issues, most publicly on health care, and Trump didn’t attend his state funeral in September.

Instead, former president Obama, McCain’s political rival in the 2008 presidential race, eulogized the longtime senator.

*With files from the Associated Press

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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