President Donald Trump saluted the casket of former President George H.W. Bush as he lies in state in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda, showing his respect. However, CNN didn’t put its distaste for the president aside during the viewing.
Honoring a man who was the youngest aviator in the U.S. Navy during World War II, who showed abundant love for his late wife, and was the father of the 43rd president of the United States, many prominent figures took a moment of silence at Bush’s viewing.
Trump, accompanied by first lady Melania Trump, paid his respects to the former president on Monday.
Watch the video below:
As IJR Red noted, the Bush family hopes to put politics aside to celebrate Bush’s legacy without any attacks toward Trump, who will be attending the funeral.
“This will be about the celebration of the noble public service that George H.W. Bush gave,” a former Bush aide said. “It’s not going to be about anybody else. I don’t think it’s going to be about Trump.”
However, CNN — the network of White House correspondent Jim Acosta, who recently clashed with Trump — didn’t hold back, taking a swipe at the current president as he paid his respects to Bush.
CNN special correspondent Jamie Gangel criticized Trump as “not one to mend fences.”
“I think he’s doing this because he feels he has to do it,” she said, suggesting White House chief of staff Gen. John Kelly “had a big hand in it.”
Gangel added that the Bush family is “very appreciative” of the president’s helpfulness since Bush’s passing — before bashing him again.
“That said, I can’t help but wonder, if there was a thought bubble over Donald Trump’s head just now, what he was thinking as he stood there,” she said.
SMU Center for Presidential History Director Jeffrey Engel responded to Gangel: “I have to imagine he was thinking, ‘How much longer do I have to stand here?’”
Gangel then called it “interesting” that Trump even attended the viewing and then critiqued his salute as “somewhat theatrical”:
“I think it’s interesting he did it because maybe he could have waited until the National Cathedral, and then he saluted. It was somewhat theatrical in nature. But I can’t imagine that this is very comfortable […] and I think it is going to be fascinating to watch the Cathedral on Wednesday and how he interacts with these other presidents and how he sits there during these eulogies.”
Watch the video below:
CNN repeatedly attacks President Trump for putting politics aside and paying his respects to George H.W. Bush.
This is CNN. pic.twitter.com/ZjGnYW2yuR
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) December 4, 2018
When hearing about the news of Bush’s death, Trump shared a heartfelt message about Bush’s “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,” Trump said in a statement.
As the nation mourns the loss of the late 41st president, a funeral will be held on Wednesday at the National Cathedral, which will be the last time Bush will be in Washington, D.C.