President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump goes after Cassidy after saying he wouldn't support him for president in 2024 Jan. 6 panel lays out criminal contempt case against Bannon Hillicon Valley — Presented by Xerox — Agencies sound alarm over ransomware targeting agriculture groups MORE on Friday held a funeral service for his late brother Robert Trump in the East Room of the White House.
The president delivered a eulogy to approximately 150 guests, including his children and close associates, The New York Times reported.
Other guests included Rep. Pete KingPeter (Pete) KingBiden pays homage to Obama by rocking tan suit during birthday week Newsmax anchor Greg Kelly to host New York radio show Top GOP lawmakers call for Swalwell to be removed from Intelligence Committee MORE (R-N.Y.), who shared his invitation on Twitter. Vice President Pence and Rudy GiulianiRudy GiulianiTrump sues Jan. 6 panel to block records Lawmakers pay tribute to Colin Powell Book Trump signed for Giuliani fetches K at auction: 'I promise never to run against you' MORE, the former mayor of New York who has served as the president's personal lawyer, were also in attendance.
Guests did not wear masks at the funeral itself but were given coronavirus tests beforehand at the Trump International Hotel, according to the Times.
Rosemary and I are in Washington, DC for Robert Trump’s funeral this afternoon at the White House. Robert was a truly great guy. We were proud to call him and Ann Marie our friends. Grateful and honored to be invited to the funeral. pic.twitter.com/trIjl6oi2v— Pete King (@petekingcpg) August 21, 2020
The president and first lady as well as his sister Elizabeth Trump Grau accompanied the pallbearers down the front steps of the North Portico as bagpipers played the hymn “Abide With Me."
The casket was loaded into a hearse before it was transported to New York.
The casket carrying Robert Trump leaves the White House following a private service. pic.twitter.com/RpNp4sWezK— The Hill (@thehill) August 21, 2020
The president is personally covering the costs of the service, ABC News previously reported.
The funeral did not appear on the president’s public schedule but he acknowledged the service in a tweet honoring his brother.
“Robert, I Love You. Rest In Peace!” he wrote.
Robert, I Love You. Rest In Peace!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 21, 2020
It is rare for the East Room to be used for funeral events, outside of a ceremony for a deceased president, CNN noted.
The last time a deceased body was brought to the White House was for the funeral services of former President Kennedy after his assassination in 1963.
The room is where the body of former President Lincoln was laid in state in 1865 and where Lincoln’s 11-year-old son Willie’s funeral was held three years prior.
The first president to have a funeral service in the East Room was William Harrison in 1841.
The East Room, however, has also been used by previous presidents to host funeral services for others.
Former President Benjamin Harrison in 1890 used the East Room to host funeral services for the wife and daughter of his secretary of the Navy, Benjamin Tracy, after they were killed in a fire.
Former President Franklin D. Roosevelt hosted a state funeral in the East Room for his longtime political adviser and close friend Louis Howe in 1936.
President Trump on Monday had said he was considering holding a White House service for his late brother.
"That would be, I think, a great honor to him. I think he’d be greatly honored," the president told reporters. "He was so proud of what we were doing and what we are doing for our country. So I think it would be appropriate."
Robert Trump died last Saturday at the age of 71. The president had visited his brother a day earlier in a New York City hospital.
Born in 1948, Robert Trump previously served as an executive vice president of the Trump Organization.
He recently was in the news for leading a lawsuit on behalf of the Trump family seeking to stop the publication of a book by his and President Trump's niece, Mary Trump, that was sharply critical of the president and the Trump family as a whole.
In announcing Robert Trump's death last week, the president said, "He was not just my brother, he was my best friend.”
"He will be greatly missed, but we will meet again. His memory will live on in my heart forever. Robert, I love you. Rest in peace," the president said.