Washington, Aug 21 (efe-epa).- United States President Donald Trump on Friday held the funeral for his brother at the White House, where no such services have been held since the assassination of then-President John F. Kennedy in 1963.
Robert Trump, the younger brother of Donald Trump, died on Saturday last week at the age of 71 at a New York hospital
“Robert, I Love You. Rest In Peace!” said the president in a tweet.
The funeral was attended by members of the Trump family and First Lady, Melania Trump, along with several dozens of guests, at the East Room, where official receptions are held at the White House, according to CNN.
Later, Trump, his wife and other family members accompanied the coffin as it was moved to the hearse, while “Abide with me” – often played at funerals – was rendered in the background on bagpipes.
Most of the people attending the event were dressed in black, except Trump, who wore a navy blue suit. The president did not interact with journalists gathered outside.
According to local media, a source from the White House confirmed that Trump bore the cost of the funeral from his own pocket.
On Monday, the president had announced he was planning to hold the funeral for his brother in the presidential mansion.
“I think it would be a great honor to him. I think he’d be greatly honored. He loved our country,” Trump had said.
He added that Robert “would be so proud of what we were doing and what we are doing for our country,” which is why “I think it would be appropriate” to have the funeral there.
President Trump had reached New York to visit his brother, whom he called his “best friend”, a day before his demise after revealing that Robert was admitted to a hospital but without revealing details of his illness.
Local news reports cited family friends as saying that Robert had suffered brain hemorrhages due to a fall and in recent weeks his health deteriorated to a point that he was unable to talk on phone.
Apart from the president, Robert Trump is survived by two elder sisters Maryanne and Elizabeth and his second wife Ann Marie Pallan.
This is the first time since 1936 that the a citizen without public office has been accorded a funeral at the White House, after Louis Howe, who was an adviser to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. EFE-EPA