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Who Will Attend Barbara Bush Funeral? Former First Lady Will Have Big-Name Gathering, With One Notable Absentee

Jessica Kwong
Who Will Attend Barbara Bush Funeral? Former First Lady Will Have Big-Name Gathering, With One Notable Absentee

A host of current and former members of the White House's first families will attend former First Lady Barbara Bush’s private funeral in Houston on Saturday, but President Donald Trump will not be among them.

The White House in a statement Thursday said: “To avoid disruptions due to added security, and out of respect for the Bush Family and friends attending the service, President Trump will not attend.”

The statement added: "First Lady Melania Trump will attend the memorial service for Barbara Bush this Saturday on behalf of the First Family,”

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It is not unusual for sitting presidents to skip the funeral of former first ladies.

Former President Barack Obama in 2016 missed former First Lady Nancy Reagan’s funeral service, instead of honoring a commitment to speak at the South by Southwest festival. His wife Michelle Obama was, however, present. In 2011, when former first lady Betty Ford died, Barack Obama and former President Bill Clinton did not attend, but George W. Bush did, along with former first ladies Reagan, Hillary Clinton and Rosalynn Carter.

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A sitting president has not attended the funeral of a former first lady since 1962, when John F. Kennedy went to pay his respects for Eleanor Roosevelt, according to NBC News.

The Obamas and Clintons will join the funeral services of Barbara Bush, their spokespeople have said.

Former Vice President Dick Cheney, who served under ex-President George W. Bush, and his wife will also attend, CNN reported. Rosalynn Carter and her husband ex-President Jimmy Carter will not be present because she is recovering from intestinal surgery and he is abroad, the Carter Center stated.

Barbara Bush, former wife of the 41st President George H.W. Bush, died Tuesday at the age of 92. As first lady, she pushed for literacy, and more recently called Donald Trump a “comedian” and “showman” after he mocked her son Jeb Bush, who dropped out of the 2016 presidential race.

This article was first written by Newsweek

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