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Posted: December 06, 2018

Former first lady Laura Bush thanks Melania Trump for 'sweet visit' to White House

President Donald Trump, second from right, and first lady Melania Trump, right, are greeted by former President George Bush and former first lady Laura Bush outside the Blair House across the street from the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2018.
Andrew Harnik/AP
President Donald Trump, second from right, and first lady Melania Trump, right, are greeted by former President George Bush and former first lady Laura Bush outside the Blair House across the street from the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2018.

By Theresa Seiger, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

Former first lady Laura Bush thanked current first lady Melania Trump on Tuesday for inviting the Bush family to tour the White House holiday decorations while they were in town to remember former President George H.W. Bush.

>> Read more trending news

“A sweet visit during this somber week,” Laura Bush wrote Tuesday in an Instagram post. “Thanks to Mrs. Trump for inviting our family to the White House to see the Christmas decorations and our old friends, the residence staff.”

The Bush family was visiting Washington to attend memorial services for the 41st president, who died Friday. President Donald Trump had announced the visit earlier in the day on Twitter.

>> From Cox Media Group's Jamie Dupree: Washington pays final tribute to George H.W. Bush

“Looking forward to being with the wonderful Bush family at Blair House today,” he wrote, referring to the presidential guesthouse. “The former First Lady will be coming over to the White House this morning to be given a tour of the Christmas decorations by Melania. The elegance & precision of the last two days have been remarkable!”

Laura Bush and Melania Trump appear to have a friendly relationship, according to The Washington Post. The newspaper reported the two have met for tea at the White House and spent time together in April, when Melania Trump visited Texas for the funeral of former first lady Barbara Bush.

The first lady does not appear to have the same warm relationship with her predecessor, Michelle Obama. Last month, the former first lady said in an interview on “Good Morning America” that she reached out to Melania Trump to offer assistance as she transitioned into the role of first lady, as Obama said Laura Bush had reached out to her. However, she said Melania Trump had not taken her up on her offer.

Melania Trump’s spokeswoman, Stephanie Grisham, said in a statement to CNN that she is “a strong and independent woman who has been navigating her role as first lady in her own way. When she needs advice on any issue, she seeks it from her professional team within the White House.”


Related

George H.W. Bush funeral (live updates, livestream) Service at National Cathedral

The funeral service for President George H.W. Bush has begun amid pomp and circumstance at the National Cathedral Wednesday.

>> George H.W. Bush funeral: What time are the services; how to watch

Bush, the 41st president of the United States, died Friday night at his Texas home. He was 94. 

After the service at the National Cathedral, Bush’s body will be returned to Texas for a private service on Thursday.

Live updates:

10:50 p.m. ET Dec. 5, 2018: Trump is seated

President Trump has been seated in the National Cathedral. He spoke to the Obamas. 

10:43 p.m. ET Dec. 5, 2018: The family

George H.W. Bush and his wife Barbara had six children. One child, a daughter named Robin, died of cancer when she was 3 years old. Bush’s surviving children are: sons George W. Bush, 72, Jeb Bush, 65, Neil Bush, 63, and Marvin Bush, 62 and daughter Dorothy Bush Koch, 59. Bush had 17 grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren. He is also survived by two siblings.

10:33 a.m. ET Dec. 5, 2018: Former presidents at the Cathedral

All the former living presidents, except for George W. Bush, are in the Cathedral now -- Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. President Trump is expected to arrive at any minute.

10:29 a.m. ET Dec. 5, 2018: The hearse is headed to the Cathedral

A motorcade will take the former president’s body to the National Cathedral. The motorcade will go past the White House on the way to the cathedral.

10:20 a.m. ET Dec. 5, 2018: Bush’s children await the casket

All five of Bush’s surviving children are outside of the Capitol as their father’s body is being brought down the building’s front steps.

10:04 a.m ET Dec. 5, 2018: Bush family arrives at the Capitol

A band is moving into place in front of the Capitol as the Bush family gets ready to receive Bush’s body. The band will play “Nearer My God to Thee.”

10 a.m. ET Dec. 5, 2018: Hearse arrives at the Capitol

The hearse has arrived at the U.S. Capitol as the casket has been removed from the Rotunda. The former president’s body will be taken down the Capitol steps to the hearse. A 21-gun salute will be given.

9:49 a.m. ET Dec. 5, 2018: Bush family leaving Blair House

The Bush family will soon leave Blair House where they have been staying to go to the Capitol for the departure ceremony. The former president’s body will be taken by motorcade to the National Cathedral where funeral services will begin at 11 a.m. ET.

9:30 a.m. ET Dec. 5, 2018: More mourners are coming in

Colin Powell is seated in the National Cathedral; former Vice President Joe Biden is walking in; Republian strategist Karl Rove is there. More than 3,000 guests are expected at the Cathedral.

9:11 a.m. ET Dec. 5, 2018: Mourners are arriving at the National Cathedral

Guests are going into the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. Journalists Sam Donaldson and Ann Compton were seen walking in. Rudy Giuliani is there, as is Condolezza Rice and former vice president Dick Cheney.

9 a.m. ET Dec. 5, 2018: Trump pays tribute

8:30 a.m. ET Dec. 5, 2018: USS Bush pays tribute

Sailors aboard the USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77) hold a flashlight vigil in honor of the former president and naval aviator namesake.

7 p.m. ET Dec. 4, 2018: Bush family returns to rotunda

The Bush family has returned to the Capitol rotunda to pay their respects to the family patriarch President George H.W. Bush.

President George W. Bush, his wife, Laura Bush and their twin daughters, Jenna Bush Hager and Barbara Piece Bush and their husbands, greeted the crowd in the rotunda and paused at the flag-draped casket to remember their father and grandfather,respectively.

Jeb Bush and his family and sister Dorothy Walker Bush Koch, known as Doro, were also there. They greeted friends among the crowd in the rotunda and slowly stopped to honor Bush.

11:30 a.m. ET Dec. 4, 2018: Sully pays respect

Sully the service dog made a visit to the Capitol Rotunda Tuesday where the body of his former companion, George H.W. Bush, is lying in state.

11 a.m. ET Dec. 4, 2018: Trump visiting with Bush family

President Trump and first lady Melania Trump will visit the Bush family at Blair House on Tuesday.  

8:35 p.m. ET Dec. 3, 2018: Trump, first lady pay respects

President Donald Trump, first lady Melania and other Trump staffers have arrived at the Capitol to pay their respects to former President George H.W. Bush.

Bush is lying in state in the Capitol rotunda until Wednesday morning.

7:15 p.m. ET Dec. 3, 2018: Prince Charles to attend funeral

Britain’s Prince Charles is planning to attend the funeral of former President George H.W. Bush, CNN reported.

Queen Elizabeth sent condolences Saturday on Bush’s death, calling him “a great friend and ally of the United Kingdom.”

6:55 p.m. ET Dec. 3, 2018: Texas day of mourning

Texas Gov. Greg Abbot announced a day of mourning Wednesday in honor of former President George H.W. Bush. 

State agencies will be closed and "general government operations and services shall be maintained by skeletal work crews,’ the Texas Tribune reported.

5:42 p.m. ET Dec. 3, 2018: After the ceremony 

The Bush family is leaving the Rotunda and the Capitol grounds. Former President Bush will lie in state until Wednesday morning when his body will be taken to the National Cathedral for a funeral service.

5:34 p.m. ET Dec. 3, 2018: Wreaths laid by Senate and House leaders

Sen. McConnell and Sen. Chuck Schumer, (D-New York), lay a wreath from members of the Senate. Rep. Nancy Pelosi, (D-California), and Speaker Ryan present one from House members. Pence and Mrs. Pence present one from the administration.

5:19 p.m. ET Dec. 3, 2018: Mike Pence is speaking

Pence recalls that Bush was the first sitting vice president to win the presidency in more than 150 years. “He left America and the world more peaceful, prosperous and secure.” He tells the story of when Bush sent a letter to his son, a U.S. Marine pilot, congratulating him on earning his wings.

5:13 p.m. ET Dec. 3, 2018: Paul Ryan is speaking

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan is remembering the first campaign he worked on -- Bush’s campaign for president. “President Bush personified grace.”

5:08 p.m. ET Dec. 3, 2018: Mitchel McConnell is speaking

McConnell is offering a tribute to Bush.  He describes Bush as “a steady hand staying the course.”

5:03 p.m. ET Dec. 3, 2018: The Capitol ceremony 

The service in the Rotunda will include the following:

  • Invocation given by the Rev. Patrick J. Conroy, S.J., chaplain, U.S. House of Representatives.
  • Tributes given by the speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, majority leader of the U.S. Senate and vice president of the United States.
  • “Eternal Father, Strong to Save” sung by the U.S. Naval Academy Glee Club.
  • Majority leader of the U.S. Senate, speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives and the vice president of the United States will place wreaths by the catafalque.
  • “America the Beautiful” sung by the U.S. Naval Academy Glee Club.
  • Benediction given by Chaplain Barry C. Black, Chaplain, U.S. Senate.

4:56 p.m. ET Dec. 3, 2018: Inside the Capitol 

Once the procession enters the Rotunda, the casket will be placed on the Lincoln Catafalque -- a stand that once held President Abraham Lincoln’s casket. The national and presidential colors will be posted. A guard of honor will be posted at the corners of the casket and a brief service will be conducted. 

4:52 p.m. ET Dec. 3, 2018: Military honors once again

The casket is being removed from the hearse. “Hail to the Chief” and a 21-gun salute is takingn place. President George W. Bush, with his hand over his heart, appears to have tears in his eyes.

4:42 p.m. ET Dec. 3, 2018: ‘A Mighty Fortress is Our God’ 

The family is getting into place to receive the casket. The casket will be carried up the steps to the Rotunda as the U.S. Army Band, “Pershing’s Own,” plays the hymns, “Fairest Lord Jesus” and “A Mighty Fortress is Our God.”

4:39 p.m. ET Dec. 3, 2018: Bush’s remains arrive at the Capitol

The Bush family and friends, along with the hearse carrying the former president’s remains have arrived at the Capitol.

4:25 p.m. ET Dec. 3, 2018: Vice President Pence arrives

Vice President Pence arrives at the Capitol. He will be speaking later. Supreme Court associated justices are also at the Capitol.

4:07 p.m. ET Dec. 3, 2018: Who will be there

When Bush’s body arrives at the Capitol he will be met by: 

Mike Pence

Paul Ryan

Mitch McConnell

John Roberts

Supreme Court associated judges

Members of the cabinet

Senators

Congressmen 

Governors and other guests

3:55 p.m. ET Dec. 3, 2018: My Country Tis of Thee

As Bush’s casket is loaded into the hearse, the military band plays “My Country Tis of Thee.” The hearse is leaving Andrews, headed toward the Capitol.

3:49 p.m. ET Dec. 3, 2018: Arrival ceremony has begun

The casket is being removed from the plane, “Hail to the Chief” is being played and there is a 21-gun salute being given.

3:44 p.m ET Dec. 3, 2018: Family, Friends leave the plane

Family and Friends who accompanied the body of former President Bush to Washington have left the plane and are lining up to watch as the casket is removed. Sully the service dog is among the mourners.

3:35 p.m. ET Dec. 3, 2018: Removal of the casket

The casket is being removed from the plane and a military honor guard is getting into place.

Members of his cabinet, led by former Vice President Dan Quayle, will meet Bush’s casket at the Capitol.

3:30 p.m. ET Dec. 3, 2018: Arrival ceremony is about to start

A black hearse with the emblem of the president of the United States is awaiting Bush’s casket.

3:20 p.m. ET Dec. 3, 2018: Air Force One is landing at Joint Base Andrews

The plane carrying Bush’s body has landed in Maryland. He will be taken to the Capitol this afternoon.

3:11 p.m. ET Dec. 3, 2018: Air Force One soon to land in DC

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, is reading a tribute to Bush on the Senate floor.

12:06 p.m. ET Dec. 3, 2018: The plane has departed Ellington Field

Bush’s body and his family members have left Texas.

12:01 p.m. ET Dec. 3, 2018: On the way to Washington

The plane will depart in a few moments and head to Washington where Bush’s body will lie in state for two days. The plane is expected to land around 3:30 p.m. ET at Joint Base Andrews.

11:53 a.m. ET Dec. 3, 2018: The casket is on the plane

The family, led by George W. Bush, is climbing the stairs of Air Force One. Bush turns to wave to the crowd at Ellington Field.

11:50 a.m. ET Dec. 3, 2018: Military honors begin

“Hail to the Chief” is being played as a 21-gun salute is fired. Bush’s family is waiting near the plane. “Eternal Father, Strong to Save,” the Navy hymn, is being played as the casket is being taken to toward the plane.

11:47 a.m. ET Dec. 3, 2018: All services represented

There are members from each U.S. military service represented in the honor guard.

11:45 a.m. ET Dec. 3, 2018: The casket is being transferred

The casket containing the body of former President Bush is being taken from the hearse by an honor guard.

11:39 a.m. ET Dec. 3, 2018: The motorcade is at Ellington Field

Former President George W. Bush is at Ellington Field to receive his father’s body and escort him to Washington. Bush 41’s other children and grandchildren will travel with his body on Air Force One -- called Special Air Mission 41 today.

11:35 a.m. ET Dec. 3, 2018: Sully is headed to Washington

Sully, Bush’s service dog, will fly to Washington with Bush’s body. Sully will be re-assigned to another veteran with disabilities.

11:30 a.m. ET Dec. 3, 2018: He was a veteran

Bush served in World War II. He was a pilot and was shot down over the Pacific. 

11:27 a.m. ET Dec. 3, 2018: Color guard is in place

The miliary is awaiting the arrival of President Bush’s body, which should be soon. A military guard is lined up outside of Air Force One. It is windy at Ellington Field and the flag in front of Air Force One is flapping.

11:17 a.m. ET Dec. 3, 2018: Military band and honor guard getting ready

A military band is in place and an honor guard is getting ready to receive the former president’s body.

11:15 a.m. ET Dec. 3, 2018: In lieu of flowers

From the Bush family: “The Bush family respectfully asks that, in lieu of flowers, contributions in memory of President Bush be made to the George Bush Memorial Fund at http://www.georgehwbush.com/memorial_fund.html.

Individuals who wish to honor President Bush by dedicating a day of serving others may find guidance and local opportunities at www.pointsoflight.org.”

11:04 a.m. ET Dec. 3, 2018: Who will speak at the funeral

Former President George W. Bush, historian Jon Meacham, former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney and former Sen. Alan Simpson, R-Wyoming, will eulogize Bush on Wednesday at his funeral service in Washington

10:50 a.m. ET Dec. 3, 2018:  Motorcade is heading to Ellington Field

Bush’s body is in a motorcade that is headed to Ellington Field. His family will be there when his body arrives. A 21-gun salute is scheduled before the plane heads to Washington. As the motorcade heads through Houston, people are stopping on the interstate as the hearse passes.

10:40 a.m. ET Dec. 3, 2018: Leaving the funeral home

The body of former President Bush has left the funeral home and is on the way to Ellington Field in Houston.

10:04 a.m. ET Dec. 3, 2018: Last presidential funeral was Ford’s

The last state funeral for a former president was for Gerald Ford. Ford died the day after Christmas in 2006. His funeral was on Jan. 2, 2007. George H.W. Bush gave a eulogy at Ford’s funeral.

9:45 a.m. ET Dec. 3, 2018: Bush’s body headed to D.C.

Air Force One will be transporting Bush’s remains to Washington D.C. President Donald Trump authorized the use of the plane. Bush’s body will be brought to the Capitol where he will lie in state until his funeral on Wednesday.

Related stories:

George H.W. Bush: Political world reacts to death of former president

George H.W. Bush: Cartoons depict touching family reunion

'I am rooting hard for you:' read George H.W. Bush's 1993 letter to Bill Clinton

George H.W. Bush funeral: What is a state funeral and will Bush have one?

Americans pay tribute to George H.W. Bush with #SocksforBush

As family, friends and colleagues paid tribute to former President George H.W. Bush during his funeral service Wednesday at Washington National Cathedral, Twitter users nationwide paid homage to the 41st president’s love for colorful, stylish socks.

>> Read more trending news 

Bush, 94, who died Friday night at his home in Texas, often talked about his penchant for socks over the past several years. He particularly fancied socks with bold colors and patterns.

"I like a colorful sock. I'm a sock man," he told his granddaughter Jenna Bush Hager during a 2012 “Today” show segment.

>> George W. Bush tears up during eulogy for his father

After his wife, Barbara Bush, died in April, he sought sock giant John’s Crazy Socks for the perfect pair to wear to her funeral, according to ABC News.

Dozens of supporters decided to participate Wednesday in the national day of mourning by sporting socks that would have made the late president proud. Social media users tagged their posts #SocksforBush in his honor.

George H.W. Bush funeral: George W. Bush continues mint tradition with Michelle Obama

A moment that sealed the connection and image of two former families had apparently become a sort of tradition between former President George W. Bush and former first lady Michelle Obama. 

In September, during the funeral for Sen. John McCain, Bush gave Obama a cough drop. It was a simple moment between three people who could be considered some of the nation’s most powerful, when former first lady Laura Bush, handed her husband a cough drop to give to Obama.

>>Read: George H.W. Bush funeral (live updates): Bush remembered as ‘best father,’ great friend, statesman

In a bit of levity during Wednesday’s state funeral for Bush’s father former President George H.W. Bush, Bush 43 did the same thing as he walked down the aisle greeting the nation’s current and former leaders. He handed Obama, what many are calling a mint, before the funeral service began, the “Today” show reported. Obama smiled as he slipped the candy into her hand.

>>From our Washington Insider, Jamie Dupree: Washington pays a final tribute to former President George H.W. Bush

>> Read more trending news 

George H.W. Bush’s funeral ceremony continued to Joint Base Andrews, where his body was taken to the plane normally called Air Force One, but today called Special Air Mission 41, to take him back home to Texas and his wife, former first lady Barbara Bush, who died earlier this year.

 

President George W. Bush tears up during eulogy for father, George H.W. Bush

It wasn’t a President speaking of a President. It was a son speaking of his father whom he just lost. 

A single moment stands out from the funeral for former President George H.W. Bush -- when his son, former President George W. Bush, reminisced of his father. 

>> Read more trending news 

  /video/hot-video/video-scenes-from-former-president-george-bush-funeral/
 

George H.W. Bush: Cartoons depict touching family reunion

The cartooning genius of Marshall Ramsey once again tugged at the nation’s heartstrings early Saturday. 

>> Read more trending news 

Ramsey, whose political cartoons are published in the Clarion Ledger of Jackson, Mississippi, drew a poignant illustration of former President George H.W. Bush, who died Friday night at age 94.

>> George H.W. Bush: 41st president dead at 94

In his cartoon, Ramsey depicts Bush in the clouds after flying his TBM Avenger, which was the aircraft he flew while serving in the Navy during World War II. Bush is shown reunited with his wife, Barbara, who died in April, and their daughter, Pauline Robinson Bush -- known as Robin -- who died in October 1953 as a 3-year-old from leukemia.“We waited for you,” Barbara Bush tells her husband.

In April, Ramsey drew a heartwarming cartoon of Barbara Bush being reunited in heaven with Robin.

>> Family shares cartoon of Barbara Bush, late daughter

“Not every cartoon I drew about President Bush was flattering,” Ramsey tweeted. “But the last one is. My prayers are with his friends and family tonight. And the nation. He lived a fascinating life of service.”

>> George H.W. Bush: In his own words

Ramsey also tweeted a photo of himself in the cockpit of a TBM Avenger.

Ramsey was not the only cartoonist with a heavenly touch.

Gary Varvel of the Indianapolis Star drew a cartoon showing George H.W. Bush holding Robin while putting his arm around Barbara in an illustration titled “The Bush Reunion.”

Crew of USS George H.W. Bush holds flashlight vigil for ship’s namesake

Sailors held a silent and solemn tribute for the man their ship is named for -- former President George H.W. Bush. 

Members of the crew of the USS George H.W. Bush held a flashlight vigil for Bush Wednesday, the U.S. Naval Institute reported.

Crewmembers lined up in formation to spell GHWB 41, the president’s initials and the number of his presidency.

>> Read more trending news 

CVN 77 was named after Bush, who served in the Navy, joining on his 18th birthday on June 12, 1942 as a Seaman 2nd Class. He got his commission and earned his wings the next year, at the age of 18, becoming the youngest Navy pilot at the time.

He served on active duty from August 1942 until September 1945. 

 
 
 
 

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