During a Monday morning discussion, CNN hosts Alisyn Camerota and Chris Cuomo noted that President Donald Trump’s week will consist mostly of diplomatic guests and visits. But when it comes to Trump’s presidency and Trump the president, the morning panel noted there is a big difference.
The weekend was filled with political leaders expressing their sadness and respect for the late first lady Barbara Bush, whose funeral was Saturday. Meanwhile, Trump was railing against political issues and playing golf.
Camerota showed the photo of the former presidents with their spouses at the Bush funeral.
“I think we should study this next photograph for all that it says because it speaks a thousand words,” she explained. “This is the funeral of Barbara Bush and you her husband there in the front, and then in the back there’s all sorts of interesting alliances here. Melania and, obviously, Michelle Obama right next to each other and then Hillary — you know, George W. Bush’s arm around Hillary. Bill Clinton trying to make sure he’s in the picture behind them. And then, you know, the person who is absent, of course, is Donald Trump and it has been pointed out that he was busy sending out 24 tweets while the rest of the, you know, living presidents — well most of them, were here at the funeral.”
The commentators also noted that it isn’t unprecedented for a president to sit out a funeral because it requires increased security. Haberman noted that it poses an interesting question about when George H.W. Bush passes away.
“I don’t think the Bush family is eager to have President Trump there,” she said. “How you deal with that will be sticky.”
When speaking about the first lady, however, Haberman said that she sees Mrs. Trump “looking extremely happy and smiling broadly. Which we often don’t see her doing in public.”
Mrs. Trump went the extra mile for the funeral, bringing with her former White House staffers who were close to Mrs. Bush.
“She was trying to show something genuine about Barbara Bush — and in that moment President Trump was tweeting and turning everything into something about himself,” Haberman said. “As I understand it from people who attended the funeral, his tweets were talked about at the funeral. They created a stir among people. If you are President Trump, as we know, he likes to watch TV a lot and I don’t think this Saturday was an exception. Saturday, a day that the rest of the political world came together and this club of former presidents, which is a pretty small club, who know what that is like, had a common bond and there he was isolated.”
She noted that when thinking about the difference between the president and the presidency, Haberman explained that there is no greater difference than Trump’s tweets and the week of upcoming state visits.
“What you will see in terms of the state dinner, in terms of Angela Merkel’s visit, that is the presidency,” she said. “What you saw on Saturday with the tweets that is the president.”