President Trump hailed George H.W. Bush on Saturday as a “truly wonderful man” and announced plans to attend his Washington funeral, setting aside years of animosity with the Bush political dynasty that he toppled in his takeover of the Republican Party.
News of Bush’s death reached Trump during his visit to the Group of 20 summit here, and the 45th president quickly amended his schedule, calling off a planned news conference out of respect for the 41st president and designating Wednesday as a national day of mourning.
Despite deep acrimony between Trump and the Bush family, who represent divergent brands of Republicanism, Trump showered praise on Bush’s legacy as a World War II veteran and lifelong public servant, a résumé distinctly divergent from his own.
Trump said he spoke by phone with two of the late president’s sons, former president George W. Bush and former Florida governor Jeb Bush — who was among the GOP primary candidates Trump vanquished in 2016 — to express his “deepest sympathies.” Trump said they discussed the close bond between the sons and their father.