Melania Trump Plans to Attend Barbara Bush's Funeral, but Will the President Join Her?
First Lady Melania Trump will travel to Houston this weekend for Barbara Bush's funeral
Melania’s communications director, Stephanie Grisham, confirmed to PEOPLE that the first lady “will be attending the funeral to pay her respects.”
Asked whether the president planned to join his wife for the service, Grisham referred PEOPLE to the West Wing. Reached for comment, White House Deputy Press Secretary Lindsay Walters said “I will get back to you.”
“Our hearts are with the Bush family as we celebrate the life and mourn the loss of Barbara Bush,” said the first lady. “Throughout her life, she put family and country above all else. Her dedicated service to the American people was matched only by her compassion and love of family. She was a woman of strength and we will always remember her for her most important roles of wife, mother, and First Lady of the United States. My heartfelt condolences and prayers are with the Bush family as we honor her legacy.”
President Trump’s statement was incorrectly dated April 17, 2017 rather than 2018. He deleted the statement from Twitter hours later, posting the statement again with the date cropped out.
Although it’s unclear whether President Trump will attend the former first lady’s funeral, the Obamas and Bushes both confirmed that they plan to attend, according to Politico.
The Trumps and Bushes have a contentious history after the business mogul ran against Barbara’s son Jeb Bush in the 2016 Republican primary race for president.
The former first lady even expressed her dismay over President Trump’s treatment of women.
“I mean, unbelievable. I don’t know how women can vote for someone who said what he said about Megyn Kelly,” she said in a 2016 interview with CBS News. “Terrible. And we knew what he meant too. Don’t you get in his firing line.”
“And money doesn’t buy everything,” she added. “It’s accomplishments, it’s what you’re doing and giving. It’s incomprehensible to me.”
Barbara, wife of former President George H. W. Bush and mother of former President George W. Bush, died at age 92 on Tuesday.
“She is survived by her husband of 73 years, President George H. W. Bush; five children and their spouses, 17 grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren; and her brother Scott Pierce. She was preceded in death by her second child, Pauline ‘Robin’ Bush, and her siblings Martha Rafferty and James R. Pierce,” per a statement from the Office of George H. W. Bush.
Her son George W. Bush also confirmed her passing, paying tribute to the strong woman who raised him.
“My dear mother has passed on at age 92,” he said in a statement. “Laura, Barbara, Jenna, and I are sad, but our souls are settled because we know hers was.”
“Barbara Bush was a fabulous First Lady and a woman unlike any other who brought levity, love, and literacy to millions. To us, she was so much more. Mom kept us on our toes and kept us laughing until the end. I’m a lucky man that Barbara Bush was my mother. Our family will miss her dearly, and we thank you all for your prayers and good wishes.”
Jenna Bush Hager also shared an emotional tribute to her grandmother.
“I already miss this FORCE of a woman— the ‘enforcer’ because she was the glue that held our family together,” she captioned a throwback photo of herself as a child with her grandparents. “She taught me to use my voice but also to value the opinions of others. She adored her friends and family; her loyalty was unwavering. Humor helps, she often said and it does, Gans, but I will miss your laugh terribly.”
- with reporting by TIERNEY MCAFEE