President TrumpDonald TrumpJan. 6 committee chair says panel will issue a 'good number' of additional subpoenas Overnight Defense & National Security — Presented by AM General — Pentagon officials prepare for grilling Biden nominates head of Africa CDC to lead global AIDS response MORE on Saturday declared a national day of mourning for next week to honor former President George H.W. Bush and indicated that he would attend funeral services for the late president, who died on Friday at the age of 94.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement that a state funeral is being arranged with accompanying honors for Bush at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., saying Trump and first lady Melania TrumpMelania TrumpFormer aide sees Melania Trump as 'the doomed French queen': book If another 9/11 happened in a divided 2021, could national unity be achieved again? Former Trump aide Stephanie Grisham planning book: report MORE plan to attend.
Further details about the funeral arrangements have not yet been released.
"He was a wonderful man," Trump told reporters on Saturday while traveling in Buenos Aires, Argentina for the Group of 20 summit. Trump said he spoke with Bush's sons, former President George W. Bush and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, by phone earlier in the day.
"He was a very fine man. I met him on a number of occasions," Trump added. "He was a terrific guy and he’ll be missed. He lived a full life and an exemplary life."
The president has designated Wednesday as a national day of mourning and issued a proclamation ordering all U.S. flags to fly at half-staff for 30 days to honor the former president.
Trump has clashed with members of the Bush family at various points in the past, including mocking Jeb Bush, his former 2016 GOP presidential rival, claiming he didn't want to use his last name during the campaign.
George H.W. Bush also confirmed to author Mark K. Updegrove in his book "The Last Republicans" that he voted for Democrat Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonDemocrats worry negative images are defining White House Heller won't say if Biden won election Whitmer trailing GOP challenger by 6 points in Michigan governor race: poll MORE over Trump in 2016, saying he considered Trump to be a "blowhard."
Trump's plans to attend the late president's funeral come months after he was not invited to attend the funeral services for the late Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainWhoopi Goldberg signs four-year deal with ABC to stay on 'The View' Collins to endorse LePage in Maine governor comeback bid Meghan McCain: Country has not 'healed' from Trump under Biden MORE (R-Ariz.), which brought a host of dignitaries to the National Cathedral in early September.
During her eulogy at the funeral Meghan McCain took several swipes at Trump, who had repeatedly mocked her father and clashed with him during the Arizona GOP senator's last couple of years in office.
Trump also did not attend the funeral services of former first lady Barbara Bush, who died in April. Melania Trump attended the funeral and was photographed with several former presidents and their wives, including Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonHas China already won? Budget impasses mark a critical turning point in Biden's presidency Five takeaways from Arizona's audit results MORE, Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaObama says US 'desperately needs' Biden legislation ahead of key votes Obamas to break ground Tuesday on presidential center in Chicago A simple fix can bring revolutionary change to health spending MORE and George W. Bush.
It is not uncommon for sitting presidents to miss the funeral of a former first lady.
Trump issued a lengthy statement early Saturday remembering George H.W. Bush, praising his "authenticity, disarming wit, and unwavering commitment to faith, family, and country."
The president said the elder Bush "always found a way to set the bar higher," noting his time spent as the captain of the Yale baseball team before going on to become the Navy's youngest aviator during World War II.
George H.W. Bush also served as a congressional representative, ambassador to China, CIA director, vice president and eventually president.
"With sound judgement, common sense, and unflappable leadership, President Bush guided our Nation, and the world, to a peaceful and victorious conclusion of the Cold War. As President, he set the stage for the decades of prosperity that have followed. And through all that he accomplished, he remained humble, following the quiet call to service that gave him a clear sense of direction," Trump said.
The Obamas also honored Bush in a statement late Friday, calling him "a patriot and humble servant" with "a legacy of service that may never be matched, even though he’d want all of us to try."
"George H.W. Bush’s life is a testament to the notion that public service is a noble, joyous calling. And he did tremendous good along the journey," they said.
Updated: 1:45 p.m.