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Obama, Trump have chilly but civil reunion at George HW Bush’s funeral

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Donald Trump Barack Obama
President
Donald Trump and Barack Obama appeared to have an uncomfortable
reunion on Wednesday.

Kevin
Lamarque/Reuters


  • President Donald Trump and former President Barack Obama on
    Wednesday had a chilly but civil reunion at the funeral for
    former President George H.W. Bush.
  • The current and former presidents shook hands but did not
    interact much beyond that. 
  • This meeting appeared to mark the first time Obama and Trump
    have spoken since Inauguration Day in January 2017.

President Donald Trump and former President Barack Obama on
Wednesday had a chilly but civil reunion at the funeral for
former President George H.W. Bush.

The current and former presidents shook hands and sat near one
another, separated only by first lady Melania Trump.

This marked the first time Obama and Trump have spoken since
Inauguration Day in January 2017. 


Obama Trump
Trump
and Obama shake hands at a funeral service for former President
George H.W. Bush.

Kevin
Lamarque/Reuters


The two men have been adversaries for years. Trump was extremely
critical of Obama when he was still in the White House, and
famously perpetuated a conspiracy theory
many decried as racist
about the former president’s place of
birth. 

In Obama’s first post-presidency year, he was relatively quiet
and largely stayed away from politics. But he’s been far more
vocal in 2018, particularly in the months that led up to the 2018
midterms. 


Read more:
‘He is a symptom, not the cause’: Obama takes direct aim at Trump
for the first time since leaving office

The former president in various speeches has often criticized
Trump without explicitly stating his name. In September, however,
Obama took his most direct swipe at his successor yet. 

Speaking on the divisiveness plaguing American politics at
present, the former president said Trump was a
“symptom, not the cause.”

“It did not start with Donald Trump,” Obama said at the
time. “He is a symptom, not the cause. He’s just capitalizing on
resentments that politicians have been fanning for years.”


Read more:
Trump fires back at Michelle Obama’s ‘unforgivable’ quip by
saying her husband wrecked the US military


Trump routinely criticizes Obama
and attempts to contrast his
presidency to that of his predecessor, especially via
Twitter. 

In the modern era, current presidents have
often developed friendships with their closest predecessors

in spite of political differences, but Obama and Trump have been
the exception to this rule. 

Other former presidents at the funeral on Wednesday,
including George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and Jimmy Carter, have
also been critical of Trump. But the late commander-in-chief
reportedly wanted Trump at his funeral
to send a message of unity in a chaotic, divisive era
. In
this context, the current and former presidents appeared to be on
their best behavior at the service. 

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