Washington mourns George HW Bush as Trump gives cold shoulder to Clintons

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Washington mourns George HW Bush as Trump gives cold shoulder to Clintons

Trump does not greet the Clintons and George W Bush delivers an emotional eulogy at the state funeral of 41st president

It was a cold day in Washington. When Donald Trump walked in, the temperature plummeted a good deal lower.

In the front pew of the National Cathedral at Wednesday's state funeral of President George HW Bush, Bill Clinton had been chatting animatedly with Barack and Michelle Obama. Hillary Clinton had been in conversation with Jimmy Carter.

Then came the Trumps. First Lady Melania stood and cordially shook hands with the Obamas and Bill Clinton, and a little wave to Hillary, as her husband took off his coat. Trump plopped down into the end seat before shaking hands with Barack Obama, who nodded formally, and Michelle, who forced a smile and 'Good morning'. He did not greet Bill Clinton or his wife, Hillary, who was Trump's rival in the rancorous 2016 presidential campaign.

It was all in the body language. The Obamas and Clintons now sat staring ahead, visibly tense, their earlier banter quite gone. Barack Obama looked strangely self-conscious; Michelle wore a permanent grimace, Bill and Hillary had stiffened. Trump had deadened the atmosphere like a standing chill.

The contrast was brutal a few minutes later when the Obamas greeted George W Bush with warm smiles. Bush handed Michelle a piece of candy, just as he did at Senator John McCain's funeral earlier this year. Bush would later break down in grief at the end of a eulogy that was in turns poignant and funny.

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Posted By: theguardian.com

Date Posted: Thu, 6 Dec 2018, 06:18 am

Tags: George H. W. Bush

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