Awkward front row at Bush’s funeral
George H.W. Bush's funeral was already a solemn occasion, but in the front row of presidents and first ladies past and present, you could cut the tension with a knife.
The awkwardness was instantly evident in the expressions of the Obamas, Clintons and Trumps as they waited for the former president's funeral service to begin.
Barack and Michelle Obama had been smiling and chatting easily with Bill and Hillary Clinton when Donald and Melania Trump joined them and the room froze.
Mr Obama took the lead in shaking hands with the Trumps, before a grim-faced Mrs Obama followed suit.
As President Donald Trump takes his seat at George H.W. Bush's funeral, once-Democratic presidential challenger Hillary Clinton looks straight ahead. (photo: Getty Images) pic.twitter.com/PJeCa66fAn— Jessica Durando (@JessicaDurando) December 5, 2018
Hillary Clinton does not even so much as glance at the Trumps and it doesn’t escape CBS’s notice pic.twitter.com/zgYQ7du3Ii— Marcus Gilmer (@marcusgilmer) December 5, 2018
Before the Trumps arrived vs. after the Trumps arrived pic.twitter.com/kqurEyDutl— Brian Koerber (@bkurbs) December 5, 2018
No Poker Face Here.....— 🅰〽️🌱🎗 〽️⛎💲🎗 (@AmreMuse) December 5, 2018
President Trump, Melania Trump, former President Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, former President Bill Clinton, and Hillary Clinton seated in the front row together for former President George H.W. Bush's funeral pic.twitter.com/72D6aLMbyT
It is well known that there is no love lost between the current and previous first couple, with Mrs Obama recently writing in her book Becoming that she would "never forgive" Mr Trump for putting her family's safety at risk by stoking the "birther" conspiracy theory that her husband was born outside the United States.
Mr Trump fired back that he would not forgive Mr Obama "for what he did to our US military."
Mr Clinton made a half-hearted effort to join in the greetings but Mrs Clinton, Mr Trump's former presidential rival and bitter enemy, stared fixedly ahead.
Twitter was quick to pick up on the cringe-factor of the forced interaction.
"Yikes," tweeted White House correspondent Katie Rogers, sharing a photo of the front row.
Mr Trump, who is known for his difficulty in responding appropriately on serious occasions, this morning announced this was a "day of celebration for a great man".
The grand ceremonies in Washington on Wednesday came after three days of remembrance in the nation's capital, with Mr Bush lying in state as dignitaries and ordinary citizens paid their respects.
His hearse had been driven in a motorcade to the Washington National Cathedral ceremony, slowing in front of the White House. Its route was lined with people, bundled in winter hats and taking photos.
The Republican president and father to George W. Bush has been remembered this week for overseeing the post-Cold War world transition and leading a successful Gulf War, only to lose re-election in a generational shift to Democrat Mr Clinton in 1992.
- With wires