Melania Trump, ex-presidents will attend Barbara Bush’s funeral
First lady Melania Trump, along with several ex-presidents, will attend the funeral for Barbara Bush in Texas on Saturday.
“Mrs. Trump plans to pay her respects at the funeral on Saturday,” her communications director Stephanie Grisham told CNN.
The White House West Wing communications office did not respond when asked whether President Donald Trump would join his wife in attending.
While speaking at a news conference Wednesday, the President extended his condolences and called Bush a “wonderful, wonderful person” and “a titan in American life.”
“Her strength and toughness really embodied the spirit of our country,” Trump said at Mar-a-Lago. “She was a woman of proud patriotism and profound faith.
He also offered his condolences to former President George H.W. Bush.
“Melania and I send our prayers to Barbara’s husband of 73 years — I’ll never beat that record,” Trump said.
It is common for sitting first ladies to attend the funerals of former first ladies, as Michelle Obama did in 2016 for the funeral in California of former first lady Nancy Reagan. Then-first lady Hillary Clinton attended the burial of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis in 1994. Both Michelle Obama and Hillary Clinton will attend Bush’s funeral, sources told CNN, along with their husbands.
President Jimmy Carter and former first lady Rosalynn Carter will not attend, a spokeswoman for the Carter Center said in a statement Thursday. The former president will be on a private trip overseas and Rosalynn Carter is recovering from recent intestinal surgery, the statement said.
Former Vice President Dick Cheney and his wife, Lynne Cheney, will attend as well, according to a source close to the family.
Bush, the matriarch of a Republican political dynasty and a first lady who elevated the cause of literacy, died Tuesday. She was 92.
Her funeral will be held at St. Martin’s Church in Houston, Texas, and, according to her wishes, it will be a very simple service. The burial ceremony will be private. However, members of the public will be able to pay their respects during visitation to Bush in repose on Friday, also at St. Martin’s.
Melania Trump plans to return to Washington on Saturday, following her attendance at the funeral service.