Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump give each other the cold shoulder at George HW Bush's state funeral
The row of former presidential couples was alive with chatter before President Donald Trump arrived and the awkward silence was palpable
Former First Lady and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton outright ignored President Donald Trump, not even making eye contact with him, when her former political rival arrived for Geroge HW Bush's state funeral.
It wasn't just Clinton, it appeared Trump too consciously avoided eye contact with her as he shook hands with former President Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama, but avoided the Clintons sitting right beside them.
The moment Trump and First Lady Melania Trump arrived, the entire first row with former presidential couples sitting became tense, with the Clintons sitting just two seats away from the Trumps, at the first gathering of them since Trump's Inauguration Day.
Pres. Trump and first lady Melania Trump, former Pres. Obama and first lady Michelle Obama, former Pres. Clinton and former Sec. of State Hillary Clinton, and former Pres. Jimmy Carter and first lady Rosalynn Carter seated at the Washington National Cathedral for the Bush funeral pic.twitter.com/FtcCssqWKp— CNN (@CNN) December 5, 2018
A clip during the service showed Clinton looking resolutely ahead during the Trumps' arrival at the Washington National Cathedral as the first couple walked by her and took their seats on the same row. All of the leaders were seated in order of presidential precedence, with Trump sitting in the first seat of the first row and the first lady sitting beside him. Next to Melania were the Obamas and then the Clintons beside them. Former President Jimmy Carter and former first lady Rosalynn Carter were also seated at the row.
The first lady shook hands with the Obamas and Bill Clinton when she arrived at the row. She then waved at Hillary Clinton and exchanged a nod with the former first lady. However, President Trump only shook hands with the Obamas after taking his seat and completely ignored the Clintons. The entire moment appeared tense as the leaders awaited the casket carrying the remains of the late President George HW Bush to arrive.
Hillary Clinton nods at President Trump and First Lady Melania as they arrive at the state funeral of former President George H.W. Bush. The Trumps shake hands with the Obamas. pic.twitter.com/kBRAtvhr01— Kyle Morris (@RealKyleMorris) December 5, 2018
Even though the Obamas and the Clintons appeared to talk before the Trumps arrival, shortly after the first couple came, everyone stared straight ahead and did not speak. Later former President George W Bush came and greeted the leaders, shaking hands with the entire front row as he arrived with his father's casket.
This was the first such gathering of the former occupants of the Oval Office when all of them were present since Trump's inauguration two years ago. Trump won the presidential elections in 2016 after defeating then-Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. Trump had not attended the funeral of former first lady Barbara Bush in April when all the former first couples were gathered at the event to support Bush senior.