Published: Fri, December 07, 2018
Entertaiment | By Simon Arnold

Chris Wallace: 'Chill' Hit Funeral First Row When Trumps Arrived

Chris Wallace: 'Chill' Hit Funeral First Row When Trumps Arrived

The atmosphere at the funeral of George H.W. Bush on Wednesday was noticeably chilly as the current president had a rare meeting with his predecessors.

The late president will be transported by hearse through Washington to the soaring National Cathedral, where 3,000 political leaders and family members were congregating to say goodbye. "He will be missed!"

Former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney praised Bush as a strong world leader who helped oversee the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union and set the stage for the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico, achieved under his successor, Clinton.

But at virtually every turn, in every rhetorical flourish hailing the elder Bush as a paragon of leadership, virtue and character, the contrast and the tension were palpable.

Trump sat on the end of the row next to Melania, who had President Barack Obama on her other side. Watch Bush's full eulogy below. Among other foreign dignitaries, Prince Charles, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Polish President Andrzej Duda, Bahraini Prince Abdullah bin Hamad Al Khalifa and Jordanian King and Queen Abdullah II Ibn Al Hussein and Rania Al Abdullah are also expected to be there.

A telegram from the Vatican relayed Pope Francis's "heartfelt condolences" to the Bush family.

In the awkward scene referenced by the two, Trump can be seen walking into a church aisle where the Obamas and Clintons are seated as well.

Trump ordered the federal government closed Wednesday for a national day of mourning.

President Trump announces that he is nominating William Barr attorney general under President George H.W. Bush as his new attorney general
President Trump announces that he is nominating William Barr attorney general under President George H.W. Bush as his new attorney general

Congress also suspended votes - even in the midst of a looming potential shutdown that requires congressional action before midnight Friday.

"We can agree or disagree with the policies", Monica Harisson, who worked eight years for the Reagan administration, told AFP.

"I don't think it was personal".

Bush was a torpedo bomber pilot in the Pacific Theatre in the Second World War and had to bail out of his aircraft when it was shot down in 1944.

It was a family that occupied the White House for a dozen years - the 41st president defeated after one term, the 43rd serving two.

Before Wednesday's service, his body lay in state since Monday evening in the Capitol Rotunda in Washington.

About 1,200 mourners filled into St. Martin's for a service that began at 10 a.m. St. Martin's is the nation's largest Episcopal church and was where Barbara Bush's funeral was held in April. The Clintons looked directly ahead and did not acknowledge the Trumps.

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