Dec 5, 2018, 12:00 PM ET

Trumps get frosty reception from Obamas, Clintons at George H.W. Bush funeral

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There was one moment at former President George H.W. Bush's funeral that marked an awkward break from the warmth and unity that has been largely present this week.

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It came when the Trumps walked into the front pew at National Cathedral.

Several of the living former presidents and first ladies – spare former President George W. Bush and his wife Laura who arrived later ahead of the casket – had been sitting, chatting happily together in the cathedral's prominent front pew.

Then first lady Melania and President Donald Trump came to join, and things appeared to get chillier.

Melania Trump shook former President Barack Obama's hand, then that of former first lady Michelle Obama, and then Former President Bill Clinton before waving to former first lady Hillary Clinton and the Carters who were all seated too far for her to reach.

Once seated, President Trump shook the hand of his predecessor and then reached over Melania and former President Obama to shake the hand of Michelle Obama, who appeared to give something of a half smile and say "good morning" before leaning back.

PHOTO: President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump greet former President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama, joining other former presidents and their spouses for the state funeral for former President George H.W. Bush, Dec. 5, 2018 in Washington.Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump greet former President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama, joining other former presidents and their spouses for the state funeral for former President George H.W. Bush, Dec. 5, 2018 in Washington.

Former President Bill Clinton looked over at the exchanges briefly. And Trump's former rival, former First Lady Hillary Clinton, didn't even appear to turn to her right to look at the Trumps.

The group then appeared to sit silently in the row for several minutes before the ceremony truly got underway.

PHOTO: President Donald Trump and his wife join other former presidents for the funeral of former President George H.W. Bush, Dec. 5, 2018 in Washington.Kevin Lamarque/Reuters
President Donald Trump and his wife join other former presidents for the funeral of former President George H.W. Bush, Dec. 5, 2018 in Washington.

Later, former President George W. Bush led his family's delegation into the church and stopped to shake all of the former presidents' and first ladies' hands before rejoining his family on the other side of the aisle.

News - Trumps get frosty reception from Obamas, Clintons at George H.W. Bush funeral

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  • Tony Radcliffe-Hung

    Can't blame folks for being on the cold side. I thought they were pretty polite given how rude, dangerous and hateful Trump is...including towards them.

    There's consequences for words and actions folks. Trump has a world of consequences just waiting to fall down on him.

  • Mr Wayne

    What did you expect? Trump has gone out of his way to insult and belittle everybody sitting in that pew. He insults everybody whom he sees as disagreeing with him. He insults entire ethnic and racial groups. He insults entire religious groups. He insults entire nations. He has even insulted and ridiculed the Pope. He insults military heroes and their families. The list goes on and on. I'm surprised he hasn't been slapped up side his fat orange head.

  • Chuck

    They shouldn't have even let him in the same room as the others. He belongs in the sewer where he came from. He will never have the respect and dignity that his predecessors have, as he was never fit to be president and never will be. He is an ignorant Buffoon!!!

  • ohyes2011

    Frosty on both sides. Pres. Clinton looked like he was going to greet but trump sat down and turned away.

  • Jen Bordon

    Frosty?
    No one wanted to be anywhere near that fat treasonous lying goon.
    He is the opposite of everything this country stands for.

  • xia

    Was any difference expected? I don't see this as newsworthy. Trump is going to be Trump. It only matters to the cesspool of tabloid journalism that our network news has become.

  • Smedley D Butler

    Cursed is the land because of Trump.

  • Smedley D Butler

    Trump walking into a house of God. Very surprising the ceiling didn't cave in on him.

  • GayEGO

    And when the Trumps walked into the front pew at National Cathedral, the crowd shouts - "Peeeeeewwwwwww!" at the Trumps. :>)

  • brickmette

    The former presidents et al were chatting prior to the arrival of the Trumps.
    Once the Trumps arrived, conversation stopped.
    One of the late-night TV hosts on CBS opined that Donald Trump is the only person who can lower the mood of a funeral.

  • Bud Simpson

    Outside of Trump's pep rallies, pretty much everyone gives him a cool reception. It's called just desserts, karma, getting what you deserve, etc.

  • Bill Harvey

    Trump was treated with far more respect than he deserved, because that's what decent people do. I think making him sit for a couple of hours to listen to people talk about the importance of values and leadership was a wonderful thing. It won't sway him, but eventually he will start to realize how outnumbered he and his followers truly are.

  • Army Brat

    Trumps facial expressions says it all . He is consumed with fear regarding Muellers next indictments

  • Gumby

    The "frosty reception" of the president is hardly newsworthy or remarkable. After several years of being libeled and slandered by Donald Trump, any sane person would give him a frosty reception. The fact that the Clintons and Obamas were as polite to him as they were is a credit to their class and manners.

  • NuffAlready

    His arrival was dreaded by all. It would've been perfectly appropriate for the church orchestra to commence with the Hitchcock shower scene score at Donald's entrance.

  • jake

    The seating of the presidents, past and present, was honoring the office of the president not the person that sat in that chair. Trump was not being honored. It was the office he holds that the Bushes were recognizing and honoring. The man now holding that office was no more than a cardboard cutout place holder sitting in the front row - that was painfully obvious. The office was being honored not the man.

  • lavendula38

    Donnie's body language said it all. The closed arms over his chest and not participating in the service. He acted like he was bored. I wonder if he ever thought during the service what will be said about him. He was probably planning his own funeral during the service. Let's see, it will be really HUGE and COOL!

  • Army Brat

    Trump's facial expressions show he is pre consumed with fear and you can't blame him being caught violating multiple US laws

  • Bob Marley

    Frazzled.....you're grasping at straws now. Lol

  • Bob Marley

    Truth-b-me, it's a two way street. I would not have extended my hand to Obama, his wife, or the Clinton's. It's called making choices. My standards are such that I just couldn't shake the hands of those previous office holders. AND, guess what, I didn't have to.

  • grazzelled

    What I really noticed was how out of place the Trumps looked in a church. They didn't even try to do the readings or sing from the program. Everyone else at least tried.

  • Alex Ross

    I didn't know snakes had hands.

  • Smedley

    From the seating arrangements I'm guessing the Obamas drew the short straw?

  • JuPMod

    Not surprise that other living Presidents and First Ladies gave the Trumps a frosty reception. Trump had been calling them names, villainizing them, and even asking to put some of them in jail. How can they get along with Trump while he is running the office of the POTUS through the mud? Least they respected the office, even if people did not like any of their policies. Trump does not even give a care that he tarnishes the office.

  • Smedley

    Like Colbert said 'Leave it to the Trumps to even bring down a funeral.'

  • mikevietvet68/69

    i noticed father pence and mother were seated directly behind him with a row of stooges to his left.they have made all of george bushes people look like knights in shining armour compared to these court jesters in trumps gang.

  • Prophet With Honor

    He was as welcome as flatulence in a space suit.

  • Rick

    Why would Fake President Trump be welcomed by the other former Presidents after all the horrible things has said about all of them. He's a bully, and mob boss, not a president. He and his wife stood silently as all in the church recited the Apostles Creed, Trump is also a Fake Christian......his god is money and himself.

  • helicohunter

    They didn't show the ex-presidents chatting beforehand, so it was hard to tell if it was suddenly chilly. There was certainly no effusive welcome for Trump, but the Obamas were gracious.