Wednesday 12 December 2018

Trump to attend funeral as feud with Bush family ends

Lying in state: Donald Trump and wife Melania in front of the flag-draped casket of former president George HW Bush in the Capitol Rotunda in Washington. AP Photo/Patrick Semansky
Lying in state: Donald Trump and wife Melania in front of the flag-draped casket of former president George HW Bush in the Capitol Rotunda in Washington. AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

Ben Riley-Smith in Washington

Donald Trump will attend the funeral of former US president George H W Bush today, capping days of public praise for the Bush family and ending a feud that has simmered at the heart of the Republican Party for years.

Mr Trump is expected to sit in a row of the National Cathedral in Washington, DC, alongside former presidents Barack Obama, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter for the service.

The US president has clashed in the past with Mr Bush, America's 41st president who died aged 94 on Friday, and his son George W Bush, the 43rd president, who did not vote for Mr Trump in the 2016 election.

Mr Trump once mocked Mr Bush Snr's well-known "thousand points of light" phrase, used to describe the positive impact volunteers have on the country, asking "what the hell is that?", and was fiercely critical of both the former president's sons.

Mr Trump repeatedly criticised Mr Bush Jnr's policies, not least his Middle Eastern military intervention, and defeated Jeb Bush, his brother, in the 2016 race for the Republican presidential nomination, dubbing him "low-energy Jeb".

But since Mr Bush Snr's death, Mr Trump has issued glowing praise for his legacy.

Ex-president George W Bush and other family members watch as the casket is carried by a joint services military honour guard to lie in state. Photo: REUTERS
Ex-president George W Bush and other family members watch as the casket is carried by a joint services military honour guard to lie in state. Photo: REUTERS

On Saturday, Mr Trump cancelled a press conference at the G20 summit in Argentina out of respect after the news broke and called Mr Bush Snr a "truly wonderful man" whose "accomplishments were great from beginning to end".

On Monday, Mr Trump made an unexpected visit to the US Congress, where Mr Bush was lying in state, standing before the casket with Melania Trump, his wife, and solemnly saluting. (© Daily Telegraph London)

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