CNN’s Don Lemon explains how Obama should have greeted Trump at Bush’s funeral

CNN’s Don Lemon explains how Obama should have greeted Trump at Bush’s funeral

Donald Trump and Barack Obama were amongst many American politicians who attended the funeral of George HW Bush in the National Cathedral at Washington.

The Clintons were also there, along with First Lady Melania and former first lady Michelle Obama.

It was the first time Trump faced the Obamas and Clintons since his inauguration and controversial first presidential speech, and the world wondered how they would greet one another.

Obama, who was seated next to president Trump, extended his arm and greeted him by shaking his hand.

CNN anchor Don Lemon has criticised the move, and admitted that had he been seated next to Trump, he would not have shaken hands with him.

He told fellow CNN colleague Chris Cuomo: ‘I’m going to say that I don’t think I would shake hands with him. I would just – nope, couldn’t do it. I’m not that big a person.

I would hope that I would be, but I don’t – I can’t fake the funk as they say.

They showed the ultimate respect for the office [the Obamas]. They do not have to show respect for someone who does not respect them.

Cuomo told him he was being rude, to which Lemon responded:

I’m not petty and small. That’s real, brother. That’s real. This is not about ideology. This is about the way someone conducts themselves. If you constantly called me names, and you were rude to me, and you – why should I have to show you respect at all?’

He added that Trump, who has been a loud critic of the late Bush, shouldn’t have gone to the funeral at all.

‘An office is not a human being,’ he said. 'I don’t think it’s respect for the human being if you talk smack about them, if you say the nastiest things about them, if you treat them as subhuman, and then you want to show up at their funeral? Really? Hell to the no.'

Trump has often launched scathing verbal attacks against Obama, both when he was president and acceding his tenure. Trump encouraged the ‘birther’ movement which called Obama’s legitimacy as president into question by suggesting he wasn’t born in the US.

Most recently the pair clashed at the 2018 midterm elections, where Obama, though he never mentioned Trump by name, said a lack of political engagement will create ‘demagogues promising simply fixes.’

George H W Bush died on 30 November at the age of 84 and will be buried on Thursday at his presidential library in College Station, Texas.

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