Melania Trump hosts Laura Bush for White House visit

Former first lady will tour Christmas decorations

By KATE BENNETT, CNN
Copyright 2018 CNN

Melania Trump is hosting former first lady Laura Bush at the White House on Tuesday for a special tour of the holiday decorations.

(CNN) - Melania Trump is hosting former first lady Laura Bush at the White House on Tuesday for a special tour of the holiday decorations.

Bush is in Washington for memorial services honoring former President George H.W. Bush, whose body is lying in state at the Capitol rotunda ahead of private services Wednesday at National Cathedral.

Laura Bush's visit to the White House was announced via a tweet from President Donald Trump.

"Looking forward to being with the wonderful Bush family at Blair House today. The former First Lady will be coming over to the White House this morning to be given a tour of the Christmas decorations by Melania. The elegance & precision of the last two days have been remarkable!"

Bush later posted on her Instagram her "thanks" to Melania Trump. Several Bush family members took the special tour, including her sister-in-law Doro Bush and several of Bush Sr.'s grandchildren.

Additionally, Laura Bush posted a picture posing with White House staff members whom she called her "old friends."

The current first lady and the former first lady have a friendly relationship. Last year, Bush told CNN's Brooke Baldwin in an interview that she had visited with Melania Trump.

"I've talked to Melania," she said. "I've been back and had tea with her." Bush added she thinks Trump has "done a lovely job" as first lady and that she is a "wonderful representative for the United States."

In April, following the death of former first lady Barbara Bush, Trump attended the memorial service in Houston and brought with her from Washington two longtime White House staff members who worked with the Bush family, a gesture the family greatly appreciated.

"(Mrs. Trump) knew they were very close to the Bush family and wanted them to be able to pay their respects," Trump's spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham told CNN at the time.

Conversely, Melania Trump has not had the same warm rapport with her immediate predecessor, former first lady Michelle Obama. Barbara Bush's funeral in Houston was the first time the two women had seen each other since Trump's inauguration and Obama shared in an interview last month that Trump had not sought her advice or guidance.

"I know that Laura Bush reached out to you and said, 'If you need any help, I'm a phone call away,' " ABC News' Robin Roberts said to Obama. "You wrote (in your memoir 'Becoming,') how and have talked about how you extended that same courtesy to Melania Trump. Has she reached out and asked for any help?"

"No," Michelle Obama responded.

Grisham told CNN that Melania Trump is "a strong and independent woman who has been navigating her role as first lady in her own way. When she needs advice on any issue, she seeks it from her professional team within the White House."

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