CNN repeatedly attacked President Donald Trump on Monday for putting politics aside and paying respects to former President George H.W. Bush in a segment that exemplified the network’s willingness to criticize the president for ratings and not for his actions.
Trump, despite his clashes with the Bush family, visited Capitol Hill to pay his respects to the 41st president, whose casket was lying in state in the Capitol Rotunda.
“He’s not one to mend fences too readily,” CNN’s Jamie Gangel complained. “I think he’s doing this because he feels he has to do it and I’m also assuming General Kelly has had a big hand in it.”
“I do know from the Bush family that they are very appreciative and think the White House has just bent over backwards, gone to great lengths, been extraordinarily helpful,” Gangel continued. “That said, I just can’t help but wonder if there was a thought bubble over Donald Trump’s head just know, what he was thinking as he stood there.”
“I have to imagine he was thinking, ‘how much longer do I have to stand here?'” CNN panelist Jeffrey Engel said.
“It’s, it’s, he had to be there, he did it, um, I think it’s interesting he did it because maybe he could have waited till the National Cathedral and then he saluted,” Gangel added. “It was somewhat theatrical, uh, in nature, but it’s, I, I can’t imagine that this is very comfortable for him, these moments and I think it is going to be fascinating to watch the cathedral on Wednesday and how he interacts with these other presidents and how he sits there during these eulogies.”
“I think we need to be a little bit thoughtful and careful about how we interpret what President Trump is doing here,” Engel said. “David Gergen just mentioned we need to give him credit for not tweeting out nasty things about President Bush. I’m concerned that we shouldn’t give credit to someone for not kicking dirt on the grave of a person who just passed away.”
The president had tweeted out respectful things about Bush after he passed and immediately ordered the flag at the White House to be lowered to half mast.