The wife of former President George H.W Bush died on Tuesday at age 92. She was honored at a funeral service at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church in Houston.
Melania Trump attended the funeral on her husband’s behalf. The president, who frequently mocked fellow Republican presidential candidate and the Bushes’ son Jeb Bush during his 2016 election campaign, and who Barbara Bush had in TV interviews implied is a misogynist, did not attend but watched the service at the White House via livestream. His office had said this week that the U.S. leader wanted to avoid disrupting the funeral with increased security.
According to E! News, Melania Trump sat in the front pew of the church next to former President Barack Obama, who was seated next to wife and former First Lady Michelle Obama. To her left was former President Bill Clinton, who also sat next to wife, former First Lady and former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, who lost the 2016 election to now-President Trump. Melania Trump and former President Obama, who her husband has criticized for years, were pictured smiling and chatting. Photos of them went viral on social media.
It is not unusual for sitting presidents to skip funerals of former first ladies; Then-President Obama didn’t attend the funerals of Republican first ladies Nancy Reagan and Betty Ford, while former President George W. Bush did not attend memorial services for Democratic first lady Lady Bird Johnson.