On Thursday night, MSNBC anchor Brian Williams offered some of his takeaways from Wednesday’s funeral service for President George H.W. Bush.
Williams began by analyzing the fact that President Donald Trump wore an overcoat to the funeral and handed it to the uniformed officer, who he described as “acting as an escort.”
“What’s going on there?” Williams asked.
Bloomberg opinion executive editor Tim O’Brien expressed to Williams that he believed clothing is Trump’s “armor.”
'It was impossible to listen to the eulogies and not take some of it as a kind of comparison to the sitting president'
“Why didn’t he just leave the coat, the overcoat in the back of the seat?” O’Brien said. “And he’s worn the same outfit since the 80s. You know, he’s almost like he’s been cryogenically frozen.”
“It’s a logo, it’s a look that he wants to project,” Williams added.
“And I think the look that he wants to project is ‘powerful, Fortune 500 CEO.’ That’s his approximation of it,” O’Brien continued. “Of course, it’s almost a cartoon, a cartoonish version of that. It ultimately gives him security and also think it enforces- it allows him to keep people at a distance. And that’s really the interesting thing about him because for all the bluster and all of the bravado and the braggadocio, he’s a deeply insecure person. And so these costumes he wears insulate him from that. And I thought it was extraordinary that at this event, in the National Cathedral with all of the pomp and circumstances involved in it, he couldn’t just strip that off and leave it be.”
Williams noted that Trump “did not participate in the service at all” when the other former presidents and first ladies read the Apostles’ Creed and “the way he carried himself,” describing Trump’s posture and how he had his hands together and how he was “rocking at one point.”
“It was impossible to listen to the eulogies and not take some of it as a kind of comparison to the sitting president,” Williams told O’Brien. “It was not intended that way, I’m certain. But people thought he looked petulant. People thought he looked angry at the content of the eulogies.”
O’Brien seemed to agree, saying that many of things that were said about George H.W. Bush are “not a description of who Donald Trump is” that he must have been “aware” of that during the service.
“So he’s sitting there and he has to know at some day in the future, whenever that occurs, he’s going to have a state funeral and it’s likely these same sort of things aren’t going to be said about him,” O’Brien said. “And so I wondered watching him where does that go, you know, in his mind as an adult man in the world right now. And my estimation where it goes is probably nowhere. Donald Trump is 72 years old. He is not somebody at this point who is going to change.”