Trump sets national day of mourning for Bush
LOS ANGELES — President Donald Trump designated Wednesday as a national day of mourning for former President George H.W. Bush, putting aside a long-running feud with the Bush family and praising the former president for having “led a long, successful and beautiful life.”
Trump also signed an executive order on Saturday directing federal agencies and departments to close “as a mark of respect for George Herbert Walker Bush.”
“Whenever I was with him I saw his absolute joy for life and true price in his family,” Trump said earlier on Twitter. “His accomplishments were great from beginning to end. He was a truly wonderful man and will be missed by all!”
Bush, who was president from 1989 to 1993 and vice president under President Ronald Reagan from 1981 to 1989, died Friday night. He was 94.
Sarah Huckabee Sand- ers, Trump’s press secretary, said a state funeral would be held Wednesday at the National Cathedral in Washington. Trump plans to attend the service, Sanders said in a statement.
Bush’s death prompted an outpouring of praise from lawmakers, former presidents and foreign leaders who recalled his long career in public service and his leadership during the final years of the Cold War and a successful U.S. military offensive in Iraq.
Former President Barack Obama, who recently visited Bush in the hospital, said in a statement: “While our hearts are heavy today, they are also filled with gratitude. Our thoughts are with the entire Bush family tonight — and all who were inspired by George and Barbara’s example.”
The Trumps were informed of Bush’s death Friday night while in Buenos Aires, attending the Group of 20 summit.
The president had been scheduled to give a press conference Saturday but announced he was canceling the event “out of respect for the Bush Family and former President George H.W. Bush.” He said he would hold a news conference after the funeral.
It will be the first major national funeral service that Trump will attend as president.
He did not attend the last major funeral in Washington, that of Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. The president and McCain had a contentious and testy relationship, and Trump was not welcome at McCain’s service, also at the National Cathedral, on Sept. 1.
He has also had a frosty relationship with the Bush family and skipped the funeral of former the former president’s wife, Barbara Bush, who died in April.
But on Saturday, the president and his wife, Melania, in a statement hailed Bush for “his essential authenticity, disarming wit, and unwavering commitment to faith, family, and country.