Body language expert says Trump’s arrival at George HW Bush’s funeral ‘was like a lion startling a herd of animals’

George Snr's national farewell is taking place today at Washington National Cathedral before family, friends, presidents and foreign dignitaries.

Expert Judi James told The Sun Online: "You could spot the moment Trump arrived in the National Cathedral even before he honed into view of the cameras.

"Until then the gathering of previous presidents had involved some relatively relaxed displays of sociable body language but suddenly – like a herd of animals sensing a lion – their poses and non-verbal signals morphed into something far more wary and stony-faced."

The 41st US president died Friday in Houston at age 94. His wife of 73 years, Barbara, passed away in April.

Judi added: "Bill Clinton had been leaning into Michelle Obama, ever resting his hand on her arm as he chatted and Hillary had leaned across her husband to chat with Barack.

"Hillary and Michelle had been emphatically tactile and friendly before they took their seats, with Hillary placing one splayed hand over her heart as she spoke and the two women standing with their arms round one another at one point."

But when political rival Trump arrived, the group all stiffened up – looking as "stiff as Mount Rushmore".

She said: "Barack's chin went up and his mouth clamped shut. Michelle sat rigid beside him while Bill turned to Hilary and rubbed her arm fondly in what looked like a gesture of affection and reassurance.

"Trump and his wife walked hand in hand down the aisle and received an upturned mouth shrug of acknowledgement from Barack as they walked past.

"The pressure appeared to tell in Trump's body language.

"Sitting with his legs splayed he placed his hands in a forward steeple position between his knees and proceeded to tap his fingertips together which is a gesture normally associated with impatience."

Bush Snr's passing and funeral today brought together all of Washington DC with both sides of the political spectrum praising his lifetime of civic service.

It also was the first time the five remaining members of the exclusive "formers" fraternity – Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter – appeared together with Trump since his inauguration in 2017.

Trump has sought to meet the elder Bush's passing with grace, a contrast to his confrontational behaviour since taking office.

Recalling the funerals for Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan, they all sat together in Washington National Cathedral, with the exception of the younger Bush, who will be seated nearby with his family.


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