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Donald Trump Holds Private Funeral Service For Brother At White House

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President Trump on Friday held a funeral service for his late brother, Robert Trump, in the East Room of the White House.

Trump delivered a eulogy to approximately 150 guests, including the president’s children and close associates, The New York Times reported.

Other guests included Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), who shared his invitation on Twitter. Vice President Pence and Rudy Giuliani, the former mayor of New York who has served as the president’s personal lawyer, were also in attendance.

Guests did not wear masks at the funeral itself but were given coronavirus tests beforehand at the Trump International Hotel, according to the Times.

The president and first lady, as well as his sister Elizabeth Trump Grau, accompanied the pallbearers down the front steps of the North Portico as bagpipers played the hymn “Abide With Me.”

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The casket was loaded into a hearse before it was transported to New York.

The president is personally covering the costs of the service, ABC News previously reported.

The funeral did not appear on the president’s public schedule but Trump acknowledged the service in a tweet honoring his brother.

“Robert, I Love You. Rest In Peace!” he wrote.

It is rare for the East Room to be used for funeral events, outside of a ceremony for a deceased president, CNN noted.

The last time a deceased body was brought to the White House was for the funeral services of former President Kennedy after his assassination in 1963.

The room is where the body of President Abraham Lincoln was laid in state in 1865 and where Lincoln’s 11-year-old son Willie’s funeral was held three years prior.

The first presidents to have funeral services in the East Room were William Harrison in 1841, and Zachary Taylor in 1850.

The East Room, however, has also been used by previous presidents to host funeral services for others.

President Benjamin Harrison in 1890 used the East Room to host funeral services for the wife and daughter of his secretary of the Navy, Benjamin Tracy, after they were killed in a fire.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt hosted a state funeral in the East Room for his longtime political adviser and close friend Louis Howe in 1936.

Trump on Monday had said he was considering holding a White House service for his late brother.

“That would be, I think, a great honor to him. I think he’d be greatly honored,” the president told reporters.

“He was so proud of what we were doing and what we are doing for our country. So I think it would be appropriate.”

Robert Trump died Saturday at the age of 71. The president had visited his brother a day earlier in a New York City hospital.

Born in 1948, Robert Trump previously served as an executive vice president of the Trump Organization.

He recently was in the news for leading a lawsuit on behalf of the Trump family seeking to stop the publication of a book by his and President Trump’s niece, Mary Trump, that was sharply critical of the president and the Trump family as a whole.

In announcing Robert Trump’s death last week, the president said, “He was not just my brother, he was my best friend.”

“He will be greatly missed, but we will meet again. His memory will live on in my heart forever. Robert, I love you. Rest in peace,” Trump said.

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