You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

President Trump Praises George H.W. Bush for ‘Great Accomplishments’

He Will Attend Funeral at National Cathedral in Washington

WASHINGTON — President Trump praised former President George H.W. Bush as a man whose “accomplishments were great from beginning to end,” even though he has had at times a chilly relationship with Bush’s sons, former President George W. Bush and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.

“President George H.W. Bush led a long, successful and beautiful life,” Trump said on Twitter on Saturday. “Whenever I was with him I saw his absolute joy for life and true pride in his family. His accomplishments were great from beginning to end. He was a truly wonderful man and will be missed by all!”

The White House announced that Trump will designate next Wednesday as a National Day of Mourning, and that he and First Lady Melania Trump would attend a funeral for Bush at the National Cathedral in Washington.

Bush, who served as president from 1989 to 1993, died on Friday at the age of 94, after a long illness. George W. Bush announced his passing in a statement issued just before midnight eastern time.

The Trumps also issued a statement overnight, in which they said that “through his essential authenticity, disarming wit, and unwavering commitment to faith, family and country, President Bush inspired generations of his fellow Americans to public service — to be, in his words, ‘a thousand points of light,’ illuminating the greatness, hope, and opportunity of America to the world.”

They added, “As President, he set the stage for decades of prosperity that have followed. And through all that he accomplished, he remained humble, following the quiet call of service that gave him a clear sense of direction.”

During the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump regularly attacked Bush’s son Jeb Bush, a rival, as “low energy,” and blasted the White House record of his brother. During a primary debate in February 2016, Trump even appeared to blame George W. Bush for not taking adequate steps to prevent 9/11.

“While Donald Trump was building a reality TV show, my brother was building a security apparatus to keep us safe,” Jeb Bush responded.

George H.W. Bush did not vote for Trump, but cast his ballot for his rival, Hillary Clinton, according to press accounts and the book, “The Last Republicans.” George W. Bush voted for no one.

Trump has not been publicly biting toward George H.W. Bush, whose presidency, through time, has come to be viewed as another era of pragmatic politics, greater bipartisanship and common decency. A 1990 budget deal with Democrats that included tax increases cost him conservative support and invited a challenge from Pat Buchanan in 1992. Over time, though, Bush has been revered across the political spectrum.

Trump’s predecessor, President Barack Obama, at times referred to Bush’s tenure as a model for his own presidency. He awarded the elder Bush the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2011, and said that his “life is a testament that public service is a noble calling.” Obama visited the elder Bush just this week before a speaking engagement at Rice University, and Bush’s spokesman said that they “had a very pleasant and private visit at the Bush residence, where they rekindled what was already a very warm friendship.”

The family said that it was working with the Department of Defense to carry out Bush’s wishes when it comes to a state funeral, but full details have not yet been announced. The last state funeral for a former president was for Gerald R. Ford, who died on Dec. 26, 2006.

Bush’s wife, Barbara, died on April 17, and her husband sat near her casket and greeted mourners as they paid their respects.

His public appearances were more infrequent in recent years, but he did appear in October 2017, at an event to raise money for hurricane relief. He was joined by the four other living ex-presidents as well as Lady Gaga.


More Politics

  • Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke

    Ryan Zinke to Resign as Interior Secretary

    WASHINGTON — Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke will step down at the end of the year, amid a series of investigations that include conflict of interest. “Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke will be leaving the Administration at the end of the year after having served for a period of almost two years. Ryan [...]

  • Department of Justice

    DOJ: Gray TV-Raycom Media Merger Can Move Forward if Overlapping Stations Are Sold

    WASHINGTON — The Justice Department has given the go ahead to Gray Television’s $3.6 billion merger with Raycom Media on the condition that stations be sold in nine markets. The DOJ’s Antitrust Division said it had reached a settlement in which Gray would sell stations in the markets where they would otherwise own two or [...]

  • Mick Mulvaney Chief of Staff

    Mick Mulvaney Will Serve as Acting Chief of Staff, Trump Says

    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump said Mick Mulvaney will serve as his acting chief of staff after the departure of John Kelly at the end of the year. Mulvaney is currently the director of the Office of Management and Budget. Trump has said he was talking to a number of candidates for the position, but [...]

  • Michael Cohen

    Michael Cohen: Trump Knew Hush Money Payments Were Wrong

    WASHINGTON — Michael Cohen claims that Donald Trump knew that hush money payments made to two women in advance of the 2016 election were wrong. Appearing on ABC’s “Good Morning America” for his first interview since being sentenced to three years in prison, Cohen, Trump’s former lawyer, said that when payments were being arranged for [...]

  • Trump Jim Acosta CNN White House

    The Gradual Disappearing Act of the White House Daily Press Briefing

    WASHINGTON — The Trump White House has dropped an event that used to be a prized invite for journalists and their families in D.C.: A holiday party for the media. But another tradition has been disappearing from the West Wing agenda as well: the daily press briefing. The regular televised afternoon back and forth between [...]

  • Nexstar Logo

    Nexstar Settles With Justice Department Over Sharing of Ad Information

    WASHINGTON — Nexstar Media Group, which recently announced plans to acquire Tribune Media and become the largest owner of TV stations in the country, has settled with the Justice Department as it investigates broadcasters’ sharing of competitive advertising rate information with rivals. Six other station groups, including Tribune Media, reached a settlement with the DOJ [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content