President Trump crossed a vast political chasm Tuesday night when he personally welcomed George W. Bush, his occasional opportunity, to Blair House, the presidential residence on the other side of Pennsylvania Avenue.
But the actual distance was only 250 meters – a road that Trump and his wife Melania traveled in the presidential parade limo, with a procession of at least seven other vehicles.
The Trumps spent 23 minutes visiting Bush and his wife, Laura, at a cordial meeting during which the former president exchanged kisses on the cheek with the current premiere lady on the sidewalk.
It was the latest in a series of magnanimous gestures that President Trump made this week to pay tribute to the legacy of former President George HW Bush, whose funeral will be held at Washington National Cathedral on Wednesday.
The need for the motorcade, however, prompted questions, and a good deal of speculation, about why the assets were unable – or did not want – to simply cross the street.
"The presidents, including the last, have already made the move," said Edward Price, spokesman for the National Security Council in the Obama administration.
"Bones-spurs?" Asked Sam Vinograd, political analyst on CNN and former veteran of Obama's national security, joking on Twitter about Trump's explanation about his postponement of the draft of the Vietnam War.
In an email, Price said President Barack Obama was accompanying Chinese President Xi Jinping from the White House to Blair House after a private dinner during Xi's state visit in September 2015. He also recalled On another occasion, the previous year, when Obama and White House leader Denis McDonough left the White House for a short stay in a neighboring Starbucks. Obama joked to reporters that "the bear is loose" – a reference to his 2008 campaign when he felt confined by his new secret service bubble.
"It's a good coffee. The President bought it, "McDonough reminded Price when they returned to the White House.
Trump motorcade on Tuesday traveled along West Executive Drive, between the White House and the Eisenhower Executive Office Building. Pennsylvania Avenue iron security doors opened and the presidential limousine turned left. stop a few meters later in front of Blair House, a large white brick house with black shutters.
Pennsylvania Avenue and Lafayette Square have been cleared of pedestrians, who usually gather in front of the White House for photos or demonstrations, as is customary when foreign leaders or other dignitaries stay at Blair House.
Presidential parades typically include more than a dozen vehicles, including secret service counterattacks, medical staff, White House aides, and news outlets. In this case, the pool reporters monitoring Trump's movements were in advance on Blair House Street and were not part of the motorcade, which included at least eight vehicles, according to the video clip.
On Tuesday, the weather was cloudy and cold, but it was not raining. President Trump was the only one of the four to wear an overcoat.
The White House assistants declined to comment when asked why the Trumps had chosen to take a motorcade.
Obama has often used a full procession for short trips, including fundraising at nearby hotels such as the Jefferson, a few blocks from the White House. These trips involved the closure of roads in downtown Washington, sometimes during rush hours, making nighttime travel snarling.
Like his predecessors, Trump also took a motorcade in front of the recent lighting of the national Christmas tree on the Ellipse – although Trump left the press behind his speech on his return to the White House, reporters stranded at the Outside by icy temperatures. reduced to tweeting their discontent. (The group of 13 White House journalists, photographers and videographers have long monitored the US President to record his travels for history and in case of emergency.)
According to a report from the pool, the Bush did not hand over the trumps on the sidewalk after the private meeting at Blair House. Trump drove his wife to the limousine side and greeted the press representatives, but he did not answer their screaming questions as he was getting back into the vehicle for a short drive back home.