Out Of 'Respect,' Trump Plans To Skip Barbara Bush's Funeral

There is precedent behind the sitting president not attending a former first lady's funeral — but it's equally likely that President Donald Trump wouldn't have been welcomed.

Close-up of former first lady Barbara Bush

President Donald Trump will not be attending the funeral of former first lady Barbara Bush.

Bush, 92, died on Tuesday after making arrangements with her doctors to ease into “comfort care” and end efforts to treat health problems, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and congestive heart problems.

Trump will not attend the funeral, which is planned for Saturday, citing logistical concerns involving security measures that would be a distraction to the service. In his place will be his wife, first lady Melania Trump.

“To avoid disruptions due to added security, and out of respect for the Bush family and friends attending the service, President Trump will not attend,” a spokesperson for the president said this week.

Trump’s actions are not unusual. The same situation occurred in 2016 when former first lady Nancy Reagan passed away. Former President Barack Obama did not attend the ceremony, but first lady Michelle Obama did in his place.

Still, one could be forgiven for believing more was behind Trump’s decision to stay behind. The former first lady was very critical of Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign, and Trump, being one who often acts like a child, likely hasn’t forgotten.

Bush said in February 2016, while her son, Jeb, was also running for president, that she didn’t “know how women can vote for someone” like Trump after he made disturbing comments about Megyn Kelly.

It can be deemed noble that Trump is following established precedent and doing his best to respect the grieving family as they lay their matriarch to rest. But, if we’re being completely honest, it’s likely that Trump wouldn’t have gotten an invite to attend in the first place, given the Bush family's probable animosity for the current president.

 Banner/Thumbnail Credits: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

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