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This week, the Senate honored the life and legacy of former President George H.W. Bush, and Charlie and I had the chance to attend his memorial service at the National Cathedral. It was a beautiful remembrance of all he did in service to our country and of what he meant to his family and friends, and it was a true celebration of a life well lived.


As I mentioned, the Senate spent this week celebrating the life of former President George H.W. Bush. I feel so honored to have known him personally, as well as his family. As we remembered 41 this week and reflected on his incredible years of public service, Charlie and I came across some photos and memories of President Bush and our family. These photos and letters are items that I will always cherish.

Improving West Virginia’s Infrastructure

One of my top priorities in the U.S. Senate has been improving West Virginia’s transportation infrastructure. That’s why, from my first day in the Senate, I have advocated for Corridor H and similar projects. I’ve also worked closely with Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao and communicated to her West Virginia’s needs. On Thursday, I was thrilled to receive a call from Secretary Chao regarding these important projects and was excited to announce a $40 million federal investment in Berkeley Springs and Tucker County that will make our roadways safer and more efficient. Not only is this good for travelers and those living in these communities, but it’s good for commerce and our state’s economic potential by better connecting West Virginia to transportation hubs around the country.

Ethane Storage Update

I’ve said time and time again that a regional ethane storage hub would do a lot to benefit West Virginia—like driving economic growth and enabling us to make the most of our natural resources. That’s why I’ve worked with federal, state, and local leaders, as well as leaders in the private sector, to make an Appalachian ethane storage hub a reality.

Earlier this week, Secretary Perry and the Department of Energy released a report I requested on how that project would affect our area. The study further confirms why I have been a strong advocate for this project by highlighting its many benefits, including economic security, growth, and job creation. We’ve been working to help advance this project for a long time, and this study is another affirmation that it’s one worth pursuing. I’m excited about the benefits this could bring to the Mountain State, and I will continue working with Secretary Perry, the Department of Energy, and others to see this project through.

The Gilmer Free Press
Shelley Moore Capito
United States Senator

FACT CHECK: Trump’s mangled truths on Russia probe, Cohen

The Free Press WV

Donald Trump can’t seem to get his facts straight when it comes to the Russia investigation.

Facing pressure as his former advisers are caught lying by special counsel Robert Mueller, Trump is launching fresh attacks on the probe as politically biased and Mueller as hopelessly “conflicted.” This runs counter to ethics experts in Trump’s Justice Department who concluded that Mueller — a Republican — could fairly lead the probe into possible coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia during the 2016 election.

Trump also suggests that the crimes of his longtime lawyer, Michael Cohen, have “nothing” to do with him. That’s also wrong. Cohen was the first to implicate the president in open court of a crime. Last week, Cohen also pleaded guilty to lying to Congress about his efforts during the 2016 campaign to line up a Trump Tower Moscow project, saying he did so to align with Trump’s “political messaging.”

Meanwhile, Trump displayed a slippery grasp of the environment as well as trade policy. He also spread around to his millions of Twitter followers a wildly false claim that people in the country illegally get more aid from the federal government than Americans get in Social Security benefits.

A look at his statements and the reality:


TRUMP, on Cohen: “He was convicted with a fairly long-term sentence on things totally unrelated to the Trump Organization — having to do with mortgages, and having to do with cheating the IRS perhaps. A lot of different things. I don’t know exactly, but he was convicted of various things unrelated to us. ...So, very simply, Michael Cohen is lying and he’s trying to get a reduced sentence for things that have nothing to do with me.” — remarks to reporters Thursday.

THE FACTS: Cohen definitely was in trouble for what he did for Trump. He pleaded guilty in August to several criminal charges and stated in open court that Trump directed him to arrange payments of hush money to porn actress Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal to fend off damage to Trump’s White House bid.

Cohen said one payment was made “in coordination and at the direction of a candidate for federal office,” and the other was made “under direction of the same candidate.”

The Justice Department says the hush money payments were unreported campaign contributions meant to influence the outcome of the election. That assertion makes the payments subject to campaign finance laws, which restrict how much people can donate to a campaign and bar corporations from making direct contributions.

It is true that Cohen did not identify Trump, but there was no ambiguity in court documents or in his statement.

Cohen’s extraordinary statement at his August plea hearing marked the first time any Trump associate, in open court, has implicated the president himself in a crime.

Cohen’s guilty plea last week, meanwhile, featured Trump and conversations he and his family had with Cohen about a possible Russian business deal during the 2016 campaign at a level greater than previously known.

Trump is, however, correct that other previous charges which Cohen admitted to didn’t involve the candidate or the campaign and were for tax deception.


TRUMP: “The Phony Witch Hunt continues, but Mueller and his gang of Angry Dems are only looking at one side, not the other. ...Mueller is a conflicted prosecutor gone rogue.” — tweet Tuesday.

THE FACTS: Trump makes a baseless charge that Mueller is a “conflicted” prosecutor whose team is a bunch of “angry” Democrats.

Mueller, a longtime Republican, was cleared by the Justice Department to lead the Russia investigation. The department said in May 2017 that its ethics experts “determined that Mr. Mueller’s participation in the matters assigned to him is appropriate.” The issue had come up because of his former position at the WilmerHale law firm, which represented some key players in the probe.

Some on Mueller’s team owe their jobs largely to Republican presidents, while some others have indeed given money to Democratic candidates over the years. But Mueller could not have barred them from serving on that basis because regulations prohibit the consideration of political affiliation for personnel actions involving career attorneys. Mueller was appointed as special counsel by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, a Trump appointee.



TRUMP, on the passing of former President George H.W. Bush: “As a young man, he captained the Yale baseball team, and then went on to serve as the youngest aviator in the United States Navy during the Second World War.” — statement Saturday.

THE FACTS: Trump mixes up Bush’s timeline, in which he put off college to enlist in the Navy after the U.S. entered World War II. Bush joined the Navy in 1942 upon graduating from Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, at age 18, six months after the December 1941 bombing of Pearl Harbor. He was the youngest pilot in the Navy at the time.

Bush received an honorable discharge in 1945 and enrolled at Yale, where he was captain of the baseball team. “A lot of us on the team were veterans and we had come back from the war, so maybe that made it a little less apprehensive,” Bush told The Associated Press in 2007. “On the other hand, it didn’t deduct from our enthusiasm and our desire to win, which we did not do.”



TRUMP: “Billions of Dollars are pouring into the coffers of the U.S.A. because of the Tariffs being charged to China, and there is a long way to go. If companies don’t want to pay Tariffs, build in the U.S.A. Otherwise, lets (sic) just make our Country richer than ever before.” — tweet Thursday.

THE FACTS: That’s not how it works. Yes, money from tariffs is going into the federal treasury, but it’s coming from U.S. businesses, not from overseas. Tariffs are paid by the importer, not the exporter or government in another country.

Beyond that, tariffs paid by U.S. companies tend to result in higher prices for consumers. So a tariff is a transfer of wealth from business to government, and sometimes from consumers to government as well. It is not a foreign payment to the U.S.


TRUMP, on the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement: “The USMCA is the largest, most significant, modern and balanced trade agreement in history. All of our countries will benefit greatly. It is probably the largest trade deal ever made, also.” — signing ceremony Friday.

THE FACTS: It’s not the largest trade deal ever made. It covers the same three countries as its predecessor, NAFTA. In contrast, the Uruguay Round of trade negotiations concluded in 1994 created the World Trade Organization and was signed by 123 countries. The Federal Reserve Bank of Boston found the following year that the WTO’s initial membership accounted for more than 90 percent of global economic output.


TRUMP, on the pact with Canada and Mexico: “This is a model agreement that changes the trade landscape forever.” He also referred to the pact as a “landmark agreement.” — ceremony Friday.

THE FACTS: Actually, the pact preserves the structure and substance of NAFTA, which was unquestionably a landmark, whether for better or worse.

In one new feature, the deal requires that 40 percent of cars’ contents eventually be made in countries that pay autoworkers at least $16 an hour — that is, in the United States and Canada and not in Mexico — to qualify for duty-free treatment. It also requires Mexico to pursue an overhaul of labor law to encourage independent unions that will bargain for higher wages and better working conditions for Mexicans.

But the agreement is largely an incremental revision of NAFTA. Philip Levy, senior fellow at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and a trade official in Republican President George W. Bush’s White House, says: “President Trump has seriously overhyped this agreement.”



TRUMP: “Remember the previous administration said, oh, manufacturing jobs, that will never happen. I kept saying, what’s he talking about? Manufacturing, we got to make things, right? They said manufacturing jobs would never come back. You’d need a magic wand. Well, we found the magic wand. And they’re great jobs. They’re high-paying jobs. They’re brilliant jobs. They’re important jobs.” — Biloxi, Mississippi, rally on Nov. 26.

THE FACTS: No magic wand has swept across manufacturing.

Yes, manufacturing jobs have been added under Trump, but the sector is nowhere close to its old glory.

As of October, the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that 8.53 percent of the 149.8 million U.S. jobs were in manufacturing. Back in October 2008, 9.65 percent of U.S. jobs were in manufacturing. Even if factories keep hiring workers, factories are unlikely to return to the prominence of Trump’s childhood because so many other segments of the U.S. economy — such as health care — have grown.

In 1946, the year Trump was born, nearly a third of U.S. workers had manufacturing jobs.

Growth in manufacturing employment began in President Barack Obama’s second term, when 386,000 jobs were added, and accelerated under Trump, with 416,000 more jobs in his first 21 months.


TRUMP: “Our steel industry a year ago was dead, and now it’s one of the most vibrant anywhere in the world, because we stopped the steel dumping and we put a big tax on. When they steel dump, they can dump all they want, but they pay 25 percent on everything they dump, and our steel now is doing great. Our industry has come back.” — Mississippi rally.

TRUMP: “Big Steel is opening and renovating plants all over the country.” — tweet Thursday.

THE FACTS: He’s exaggerating the recovery of the steel industry.

As of October, there were 381,700 jobs in the manufacturing of primary metals such as steel. That figure seesaws based off commodity prices and global economic performance. But it’s clearly trended downward since 2000 when the sector had 621,800 jobs.

It’s difficult to know just how many jobs will be added by newly planned mills. But construction spending on factories has yet to take off significantly after having been in decline between 2016 and much of 2018. Still, the spending has rebounded in recent months. Construction spending on factories has increased 4.3 percent in the past year, according to the Census Bureau.

A year ago, the steel industry employed 141,200 people, says the Labor Department. Now, 145,100. That’s a gain of 3,900 jobs during a period when the overall economy added 2.5 million jobs.

Steel wasn’t at death’s door a year ago and it isn’t “back” in any historic sense.



TRUMP: “General Motors is very counter to what other auto, and other companies are doing. Big Steel is opening and renovating plants all over the country. Auto companies are pouring into the U.S., including BMW, which just announced a major new plant. The U.S.A. is booming!” — tweet Thursday.

THE FACTS: This auto industry boom doesn’t exist.

Automakers have been steadily hiring since 2010 when Obama was president. But the pace of job gains has slowed considerably since Trump took office, according to the Labor Department. That’s probably a reflection of slowing sales rather than any policy changes by Trump.

U.S. auto sales are down 0.2 percent through October largely because of a 13 percent plunge in car sales. Truck and SUV sales are up 8 percent. All the factories GM wants to close make slow-selling cars.

The Labor Department found that automakers added 30,600 jobs during Obama’s last year in office. That fell to 8,200 in 2017 after Trump became president. Automakers were on pace before the GM layoffs to add 8,660 jobs this year.

Despite the job growth in recent years, auto companies employ far fewer workers than they did in 2000. More than 1.3 million people held auto jobs in 2000, a total that now stands at roughly 970,000.

General Motors Co. is not alone in cutting workers. Crosstown rival Ford Motor Co. is just starting to restructure its white-collar workforce, and thousands are expected to be let go by the middle of next year.

Also, BMW didn’t announce a major new plant. Its CEO said Tuesday the company is considering a new U.S. engine factory to supply assembly plants in South Carolina and Mexico. The German automaker now imports engines and transmissions from Europe for SUVs made in the U.S., and it’s building a new factory in Mexico.



TRUMP: “You look at our air and our water and it’s right now at a record clean.” — interview Tuesday with The Washington Post.

THE FACTS: No, the air isn’t the cleanest ever. The air generally has been getting cleaner since the 1970s, but the downward trend in pollution has made a bit of a U-turn since Trump took office.

His Environmental Protection Agency released data that showed traditional air pollution — soot and smog — increased in 2017 and that the air is not the cleanest it has ever been.

The days with an unhealthy number of small pollution particles, often called soot and linked to heart and lung problems and deaths, jumped from 2016 to 2017 in 35 major metropolitan areas. In 2017, there were 179 unhealthy soot days, up 85 percent from 97 in 2016. Last year had the most unhealthy soot days since 2011.

The number of days with unhealthy smog levels was down from 2016, but higher than 2015, 2014 and 2013.

The number of days when the air quality index was unhealthy was 729 in 2017. The number of days is higher than a year because it counts each city’s unhealthy reading on a certain day as one and there are numerous cities involved.

Last year’s level was the highest since 2012 and a 21 percent increase over the cleanest air in 2014.


TRUMP: “I mean, we take thousands of tons of garbage off our beaches all the time that comes over from Asia. It just flows right down the Pacific, it flows, and we say where does this come from?” — Post interview.

THE FACTS: Singling out Asia for America’s dirty Pacific beaches is an evasion.

Pacific currents do bring some trash from Asia, most noticeably during the 2011 tsunami, but it is rare that scientists can trace trash to a specific geographic location, said oceanographer Kara Lavender Law at the Sea Education Association, who said Trump’s “statement is not supported by the data.”

Americans dirty their own coastlines because “we produce double more trash per person than most of the people living in Southeast Asia,” said Jenna Jambeck, a University of Georgia environmental engineering expert who studies marine debris.


SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, on Trump rejecting a dire White House report’s conclusion on the economic costs of climate change: “This report is based on the most extreme modeled scenario, which contradicts long-established trends. ...This is the most extreme version and it’s not based on facts.” — press briefing Tuesday.

THE FACTS: She’s wrong. The 29-chapter report actually lays out various scenarios that the United Nations’ climate assessments use. Economists say the cost estimates are credible and may even understate the economic impact.

The National Climate Assessment report considers three scenarios in estimating future costs. One is the business-as-usual scenario, which scientists say is closest to the current situation. That is the worst case of the three scenarios. Another would envision modest reductions in heat-trapping gases, and the third would involve severe cuts in carbon dioxide pollution.

For example, under the business-as-usual scenario in which emissions of heat-trapping gasses continue at current levels, labor costs in outdoor industries during heat waves could cost $155 billion in lost wages per year by 2090. Modest reductions in carbon pollution would cut that to $75 billion a year, the report said.

The report talks of hundreds of billions of dollars in economic losses in several spots. In one graphic, it shows the worst-case business-as-usual scenario of economic costs reaching 10 percent of gross domestic product when Earth is about a dozen degrees warmer than now with no specific date.

Economist Ray Kopp, a vice president at the think tank Resources For the Future and who wasn’t part of the assessment, said the economics and the science in the report were sound.

Yale economist William Nordhaus, who won the 2018 Nobel prize for economics for his work on climate change, told The Associated Press that his calculations show climate change would cost the United States an even higher $4 trillion a year at the end of the century with a reasonable projection of warming. He said the White House report’s economic conclusions used standard economic modeling.



TRUMP’s retweet: “Illegals can get up to $3,874 a month under Federal Assistance program. Our social security checks are on average $1200 a month. RT (retweet) if you agree: If you weren’t born in the United States, you should receive $0 assistance.” — posted Wednesday.

THE FACTS: Wrong country, wrong numbers, wrong description of legal status of the recipients. Besides that, immigrants who are in the U.S. illegally do not qualify for most federal benefits, even when they’re paying taxes, and those with legal status make up a small portion of those who use public benefits.

The $3,874 refers to a payment made in Canada, not the U.S., to a legally admitted family of refugees. It was largely a one-time resettlement payment under Canada’s refugee program, not monthly assistance in perpetuity, the fact-checking site Snopes found a year ago in debunking a Facebook post that misrepresented Canada’s policy. A document cited in the Facebook post, showing aid for food, transportation and other basics needs, applied to a family of five.

Apart from confusing Canada with the United States, the tweet distributed by the president misstated how much Americans get from Social Security on average — $1,419 a month for retired workers, not $1,200.

Overall, low-income immigrants who are not yet U.S. citizens use Medicaid, food aid, cash assistance and Supplemental Security Income aid at a lower rate than comparable U.S.-born adults, according to an Associated Press analysis of census data. Non-citizen immigrants make up only 6.5 percent of all those participating in Medicaid, for example.

Despite that, the administration wants to redefine the rules for immigrants to further restrict who can receive benefits and for how long.

The McKinley Capitol Report

The Gilmer Free Press

George H. W. Bush Mourned, Celebrated, Remembered

This week we mourned the death of President George H. W. Bush. He and Barbara were gracious leaders and dignified and true servants. America will miss his quiet leadership. While this was a week of mourning, it was also a time to celebrate his remarkable life. Rest in peace.

McKinley Talks Criminal Justice Reform, Opioids With Local Law Enforcement

This week we had a productive meeting with leaders from local law enforcement agencies in Monongalia County. We discussed the drug crisis and criminal justice reform proposals in Congress. We are searching for solutions to help reduce the overdose death rate that continues to rise in West Virginia. This was an opportunity to hear about the impact this is having every day in our state from the people who see it firsthand. I look forward to bringing their ideas back to Washington.

DOE Releases Study On Ethane Storage Hub

This week Secretary Rick Perry announced the release of a new study by the Department of Energy detailing the potential for a petrochemical hub located in the Appalachian region. The reports reaffirmed what we have been saying for years- we need to capitalize on the resources we have in West Virginia and Appalachia, while using our natural gas liquids to attract manufacturing, investment, and jobs.

We thank Secretary Perry for his leadership and for working with us to highlight the potential and need for an ethane storage hub in Appalachia. Not only is it good for our region, this is good for America. West Virginia and surrounding states are poised to become a leader in petrochemicals and manufacturing, but we need the necessary infrastructure to make it work.

Corridor H Rewarded $20 Million In Grants

West Virginia will be receiving $40 million through the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Better Utilizing Investment to Leverage Development (BUILD) Grants.  $20 million will go toward the Tucker County expressway project along Corridor H while $20 million will go into the Berkeley Spring bypass project on U.S. Route 522. These grants are given to states, regions, and communities through need and the potential impact it could have on the area.

This is a much needed investment that will make West Virginia roadways more safe and efficient. By investing in infrastructure, we will be able to put people back to work and continue to help our booming economy.

McKinley Remembers Pearl Harbor

This week we remember devastating events at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, “A day which will live in infamy.” Each year fewer and fewer Americans are left who actually remember or were a part of Pearl Harbor. It is up to the rest of us to carry on the memory of the Americans killed there, and the attack that spurred America to action and changed history forever.

Have a great week,

David McKinley
The Gilmer Free Press

FACT CHECK: ‘Tariff Man’ Trump wrong on import taxes

The Free Press WV

Donald Trump promised on Twitter that tariffs would maximize the country’s economic heft and “MAKE AMERICA RICH AGAIN.”

Almost all economists say the president is wrong. That’s because tariffs are taxes on imports. They can cause higher prices, reduce trade among countries and hurt overall economic growth as a result.

The president’s tweet on Tuesday followed an announcement that the U.S. would not increase a 10 percent tariff on $200 billion of Chinese goods in 2019. The two largest countries are in the middle of negotiating their terms of trade, after Trump said cheap imports from China were impoverishing the United States.

After Trump announced steel and aluminum tariffs earlier this year, the University of Chicago asked leading academic economists in March whether Americans would be better off because of import taxes.

Not a single economist surveyed said the United States would be wealthier.

Nobel Prize-winning economist Richard Thaler answered the survey by saying, “In net we want more trade not less. This is unlikely to help and runs the risk of starting a trade war. SAD.”

A look at the president’s tweet and how it compares with the facts:

TRUMP: “I am a Tariff Man. When people or countries come in to raid the great wealth of our Nation, I want them to pay for the privilege of doing so. It will always be the best way to max out our economic power. We are right now taking in $billions in Tariffs. MAKE AMERICA RICH AGAIN.”

THE FACTS: Trump seems to be claiming that tariffs are some kind of a membership fee for foreign companies to trade in the U.S. economy.

They’re not. Tariffs are a tax, per Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution.

The costs of this tax are borne by U.S. consumers and businesses, often in the form of higher prices. Foreign companies may end up selling fewer goods and services if the United States imposes high tariffs. So they pay a price, too.

In some cases, the tariffs exist to protect industries that are vital for national security. Or, the tariffs exist to retaliate against the trade practices of other countries. Or, they might protect politically connected companies.

In the past, White House aides have insisted that Trump’s tariff hikes are a negotiating ploy. Yet the president offered no such qualifications on Tuesday.

Tariffs are not seen as some easy way of generating massive wealth for an economically developed nation. Nor do the budget numbers suggest they can come anywhere close to covering the costs of the federal government.

Trump is correct that tariffs did generate $41.3 billion in tax revenues last fiscal year, according to the Treasury Department. But that is a pittance in a federal budget that exceeds $4.1 trillion.

The taxes collected on imports were equal to about 1 percent of all federal spending.

FACT CHECK: Trump exaggerates cost of illegal immigration

The Free Press WV

Donald Trump is spreading misleading numbers about the cost of illegal immigration.

As he tries to pressure Democrats to fund his long-promised southern border wall, Trump is claiming the country loses $250 billion a year on illegal immigration. But it remained unclear Tuesday where Trump had found that number, which is dramatically higher than previous estimates.

A look at his claim:

TRUMP: “Could somebody please explain to the Democrats (we need their votes) that our Country losses (sic) 250 Billion Dollars a year on illegal immigration, not including the terrible drug flow. Top Border Security, including a Wall, is $25 Billion. Pays for itself in two months. Get it done!” — tweet Tuesday.

THE FACTS: Trump’s numbers left even those sympathetic to the president’s position scratching their heads.

“I’m not sure where the president got his numbers,” said Dave Ray, a spokesman for the nonprofit group FAIR, the Federation for American Immigration Reform, which advocates for lower immigration numbers.

Neither the White House nor the Department of Homeland Security responded to questions Tuesday about where the $250 billion estimate had come from.

The Heritage Foundation, for instance, estimated in 2013 that households headed by immigrants living in the U.S. illegally impose a net fiscal burden of around $54.5 billion per year.

And even Trump himself has contradicted the figure. During his 2016 campaign, Trump claimed that illegal immigration cost the country more than $113 billion a year — less than half the number he tweeted Tuesday.

That estimate appeared based on a paper by FAIR, which released an updated report in 2017 that claimed taxpayers “shell out approximately $134.9 billion to cover the costs incurred by the presence of more than 12.5 million illegal aliens, and about 4.2 million citizen children of illegal aliens” at the federal, state and local levels, with “a tax burden of approximately $8,075 per illegal alien family member and a total of $115,894,597,664.”

The $116 million figure included services like health care and education, as well as spending on agencies like U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, minus the $19 billon the group concluded those who are living in the country illegally pay in taxes. But it also included costs associated with the children of those immigrants in its tally, even when they are U.S. citizens. The estimate was criticized for making broad generalizations and other major methodological flaws.

Michelle Mittelstadt of the nonpartisan Migration Policy Institute said that advocacy groups’ numbers on both sides of the issue are notoriously flawed because “they don’t look at the other side of the ledger.”

“Doing a rigorous analysis that fully captures costs and economic contributions to come up with a net fiscal impact is quite complicated, because it is far easier to assess the cost side of the ledger, particularly uncompensated medical care and education, than it is to capture the full economic activity generated by unauthorized immigrants,” she said via email, pointing to “their roles not just as workers and taxpayers but also as consumers.”

The nonpartisan Pew Research Center also estimates there were 11.3 million immigrants in the U.S. illegally in 2016, the most recent data available — less than groups like FAIR project.

Michael Flynn Is Cooperating with Robert Mueller

Seth takes a closer look at the special counsel revealing that President Trump’s ex-national security adviser, Michael Flynn, has been cooperating with multiple investigations after lying to the FBI.

It didn’t take long for the mood to completely change when the Trumps arrived

Fox News anchor Chris Wallace couldn’t help but notice the chill that accompanied President Donald Trump as he took a seat among the surviving commanders in chief at George H.W. Bush’s funeral.

The president and first lady Melania Trump sat down next to Barack and Michelle Obama, who had just been chatting and smiling with Bill and Hillary Clinton, but conversation ceased when the Trumps arrived.

“I have to say I was struck when President Trump and Melania Trump came to the front row that it was as if a chill had descended on that front row,” Wallace said. “You had seen a lot of chatty talk between the Clintons and the Obamas, the Carters. But when Donald Trump sat down, the greeting that he was given by Barack Obama and Michelle Obama was about as cool as it could have been.”

“It seemed like they exchanged hello, good morning,” he added. “That was it, and at that point they all stopped talking to each other.”

Wallace said the interactions showed some hard feelings toward Trump by his predecessors, which he said was highly unusual.

“There are some ill feelings among some of the people in the front row,” he said, “and I have to say that where you usually have a president’s club, and even people that ran against and maybe one beat the other, that doesn’t seem to have been extended to President Trump when you see them sitting in that front row.”

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