President Donald Trump will skip the funeral of former first lady Barbara Bush, watching the proceedings from his Palm Beach mansion instead.
“Heading to the Southern White House to watch the Funeral Service of Barbara Bush, the president tweeted on Saturday. “First Lady Melania has arrived in Houston to pay our respects. Will be a beautiful day!”
please like to our page for more updates
Heading to the Southern White House to watch the Funeral Service of Barbara Bush. First Lady Melania has arrived in Houston to pay our respects. Will be a beautiful day!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 21, 2018
While the tweet may lead some to speculate that Trump is missing the funeral due to his contentious relationship with the Bush family, it is actually fairly typical for sitting presidents to decline their invitation to such proceedings.
A journalist for the Associated Press reported, “To avoid disruptions due to added security, and out of respect for the Bush Family and friends attending the service, President Trump will not attend.”
A fact-checking site notes that then-President Barack Obama did not attend the funeral of former first lady Betty Ford, nor did Bill Clinton during his tenure as commander in chief attend the funeral of former first lady Pat Nixon.
What’s stranger about Donald Trump’s tweet regarding the service is his mention of the “Southern White House,” the president’s term of endearment for Mar-a-Lago, the mansion he purchased in 1985 for $7 million. The president will sometimes alternatively refer to it as his “Winter White House,” which is what he called the property when he tweeted a picture of himself writing his inaugural address with a sharpie on a legal pad.
Interestingly, the property was once owned by the federal government. The heiress of Post Cereal, Marjorie Merriweather Post, left the property to the feds in her will when she died in 1973. The government eventually parted with the property, realizing they could not afford the upkeep.
Trump’s second residence is another feature of his presidency that places him in stark contrast to his predecessor, Barack Obama. Mar-a-Lago contains 115 rooms in its 62,500 sq ft main building. The former president rented a single story house on the Hawaiian beach front during his presidency, which Forbes reports as constituting a mere 5,000 sq ft.