Washington, April 20 (IANS) US President Donald Trump will not attend Saturday’s funeral service for former First Lady Barbara Bush to “avoid disruptions” and out of respect for her family as well as friends, the White House has said.
“First Lady Melania Trump will attend the memorial service for Barbara Bush this Saturday on behalf of the First Family. 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,” said a White House’s statement cited by CNN.
The 92-year-old Barbara Bush, who died on Tuesday, was the matriarchal figure of a political dynasty that included two Presidents — her husband George H.W. Bush and son George W. Bush.
Trump had offered his condolences to the Bush family on Wednesday at a joint news conference with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Barbara Bush was a “wonderful, wonderful person” and “a titan in American life”, he had said.
“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.”
Security will already be heightened during the funeral at St. Martin’s Church in Houston. The former First Lady’s husband and her son will be in attendance, as well as former Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton with their wives.
Former President Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalynn will not attend.