As the US mourns the loss of former First Lady Barbara Bush, the current POTUS, Donald Trump, has revealed he is skipping Barbara’s funeral to “avoid disruptions” and will send his wife, First Lady Melania Trump, to the event in his absence. In a statement to the Associated Press, the White House explained that Trump, 71, will miss Barbara’s funeral “to avoid disruptions due to added security, and out of respect for the Bush Family and friends attending the service.”
Melania, 47, is expected to attend the memorial service — which is set to take place in Houston, TX on Satuday, April 21 — “to pay her respects.” Her husband will instead be at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, FL this weekend.
The Trumps (left) and Bushes (right).
Though Donald and the Bushes often butted heads during the 2016 presidential election, the POTUS did offer his condolences to the family following Barbara’s passing at age 92 on April 17. “[She] was a titan in American life,” the father-of-five said in a statement.
Melania similarly remembered Barbara in a tribute released by the White House earlier this week. “Our hearts are with the Bush family as we celebrate the life and mourn the loss of Barbara Bush. Throughout her life, she put family and country above all else. Her dedicated service to the American people was matched only by her compassion and love of family. She was a woman of strength and we will always remember her for her most important roles of wife, mother, and First Lady of the United States. My heartfelt condolences and prayers are with the Bush family as we honor her legacy,” she said.
Despite many people being surprised by Donald’s decision not to attend Barbara’s funeral, the move is not totally unusual. When former First Lady Nancy Reagan passed away in March 2016, then-President Barack Obama did not make it to the event but his wife, past FLOTUS Michelle Obama, did attend.