Politics

Trump Joins ‘Presidents Club’ at Bush Funeral. Awkward Moments Follow

45th president face-to-face with past chief executives, 2016 foe he has harshly criticized

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump greet former President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama as they join other former presidents and vice presidents and their spouses for the state funeral for former President George H.W. Bush at the National Cathedral. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

In one of the most-anticipated political moments in some time, President Donald Trump took his place in the front row alongside the “Presidents Club” at George H.W. Bush’s state funeral. The first ladies joined their husbands — but Hillary Clinton did not seem impressed.

The scene put Trump face-to-face with his 2016 general election foe (Hillary Clinton) and several former presidents whom he has sharply criticized since even before he announced his candidacy in 2015. Trump was one of the biggest pushers of the “birther” movement that led then-President Barack Obama to release his long-form birth certificate. The incumbent still regularly pans Obama and Hillary Clinton.

The president and first lady Melania Trump walked slowly into Washington National Cathedral at 10:49 a.m. behind a military aide. The first couple strode to their seats on the stage left side of first row where Presidents Barack Obama, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter were already seated with their wives.

Melania Trump shook hands with the Obamas, then smiled at waved at Bill and Hillary Clinton, as well as Jimmy and Rosalyn Carter.

President Trump removed his customary dark overcoat and handed it to the military aide, then leaned in to shake the hands of both Barack and Michelle Obama. Bill Clinton looked toward the 45th president with a grin, but Trump did not acknowledge the look.

But Hillary Clinton just stared straight ahead as a choir sang a somber hymn. During the 2018 midterm election cycle, Trump routinely egged on rally crowds as they chanted “Lock her up!” That's a reference among Trump’s supporters that Clinton should be in prison for using a private email server while she was secretary of state, or any other number of alleged misdeeds.

Watch: George H.W. Bush Lies In State in the Capitol Rotunda

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