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George W. and Laura Bush make surprise visit to the Capitol Rotunda

Grateful George W. and Laura Bush make a surprise visit to the Capitol Rotunda along with Jeb, Barbara and Jenna to thank members of the public for paying tribute to Bush Snr.

  • Former President George W. Bush and former First Lady Laura Bush made a surprise appearance in the Capitol Rotunda Tuesday evening, where they touched George H.W. Bush’s casket and then greeted mourners 
  • Sully joined thousands of mourners passing through the Capitol Rotunda where Bush is lying in state Tuesday 
  • The yellow Labrador – who was gifted to Bush in June to help with his Parkinson’s symptoms – was cast into the national spotlight after a photo of him lying by his late owner’s casket went viral over the weekend 
  • Other visitors included the president’s son Neil Bush, former CIA directors George Tenet and John Brennan, current director Gina Haspel, former Senator Bob Dole and former Secretary of State Colin Powell
  • Cindy McCain paid her respects in what is believed to be her first visit to the Capitol Rotunda since her husband laid in state under its Dome in September 
  • Kuwait’s Emir Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah also paid his respects to Bush, who was in office during the Gulf War that rescued Kuwait when it was under attack by Iraq in the 1990s
  • An emotional Billy Bush appeared to wipe away tears as he visited his uncle’s casket with his family in tow
  • Representing the sports world, NFL quarterback Peyton Manning, PGA golfer Phil Mickelson, Duke head basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski and professional golfer Hale Irwin visited the rotunda in the afternoon 
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Former President George W. Bush and his wife, former First Lady Laura Bush, returned to the U.S. Capitol Rotunda to once again pay their respects to the late President George H.W. Bush and to greet well-wishers and mourners from the public.

The 43rd President solemnly approached his father’s casket and placed his hand on the flag-draped coffin while the former First Lady stood by his side and gripped his arm.

He then walked toward the assembled crowd of mourners and visitors and began to shake hands and take pictures.

Bush then continued shaking hands and exchanging pleasantries with others in the Rotunda gallery.


Former President George W. Bush and his wife, former First Lady Laura Bush, returned to the U.S. Capitol Rotunda to once again pay their respects to the late President George H.W. Bush and to greet well-wishers and mourners from the public


Bush and his wife then turned to the crowd of mourners who came to pay their respects and greeted them


Bush was smiling and at ease with the assembled crowd which is believed to have included former aides and staffers during his administration

The Bushes’ twin daughter, Jenna Hager Bush, and her twin sister, Barbara, were also on hand to bid a final farewell to their late grandfather.

Jenna, 37, a co-host of NBC’s TODAY show, was comforted by her husband, Henry Chase Hager. The couple has been married since 2008. 

They have two children. 

Barbara Bush was married this year to Craig Coyne.

Their uncle, Jeb Bush, the former Florida Governor, also paid respects to his late father.

He and his wife, Columbia Bush, stood near the casket for a few moments on Tuesday. 


Jeb Bush, the former Florida Governor, also paid respects to his late father. He and his wife, Columbia Bush, stood near the casket for a few moments on Tuesday


Bush is seen above posing for a picture with an unidentified mourner in the Capitol Rotunda on Tuesday night


Bush then continued greeting well-wishers one by one, shaking hands and exchanging words to those who came to pay their respects to his father


Bush spent minutes shaking hands with the public at the Capitol Rotunda in Washington on Tuesday


He even took a baby in his arms and looked at ease, reminding the public of his skills as a politician


Bush smiles as he lifts the baby into the air while photographers snap photos


George W. and Laura Bush greet more mourners on Tuesday at the Capitol Rotunda


Jenna Bush Hager, George W.’s daughter, and her husband, Henry Chase Hager, were also seen Tuesday at the Rotunda


Henry Chase Hager (left); his wife, Jenna Bush Hager (center); and her twin sister, Barbara (right) pay their respects to George H.W. Bush as he lie in state at the U.S. Capitol Rotunda in Washington on Tuesday


Bush appeared to be in good spirits as he greeted visitors at the Capitol Rotunda on Tuesday


Bush will deliver a eulogy for his late father at the memorial service scheduled to take place on Wednesday morning at Washington National Cathedral


Earlier on Tuesday, the former President Bush shook hands with President Donald Trump, despite longstanding bad blood between Trump and the Bush family


Former first lady Laura Bush was all smiles as she greeted first lady Melania Trump before the four went inside the home that serves as the president’s guest quarters


Former President George W. Bush kissed first lady Melania Trump on the cheek as the two presidential couples met outside Blair House in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday


The Trumps emerged from Blair House after a 23-minute visit, leaving without the Bushes

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    The surprise appearance by George W. and Laura Bush took place just a few hours after the Bush family met at Blair House, the U.S. president’s official guest house, with President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump.

    Laura Bush went to the White House Tuesday morning for a tour of Christmas decorations from Melania Trump, posing with members of the presidential mansion’s household staff.

    She and former President George W. Bush, whom the current Oval Office occupant once called the ‘worst president ever,’ greeted the Trumps hours later and disappeared inside Blair House.

    President Trump shook both Bushes’ hands. Melania opted for kisses on both of their cheeks.

    Trump waved to cameras when he and the first lady emerged 23 minutes later.

    Despite Blair House’s location about 200 feet from the White House’s front gates on Pennsylvania Avenue, the Trumps opted for a brief motorcade ride to the other side of the building on a 40-degree afternoon.

    On Monday night, the President and the First Lady made a surprise – and brief – appearance at the Rotunda to pay their respects to George H.W. Bush. 

    The couple entered the rotunda and held hands as they quietly approached Bush’s coffin draped in the American flag.

    A solemn-looking president saluted Bush’s remains while the first lady pressed her right hand over her heart.

    They left about a minute later – as silently as they arrived.

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      President Trump and first lady Melania Trump made an unannounced visit to the U.S. Capitol on Monday evening to visit former President George H.W. Bush’s remains

      U.S. Capitol Police cleared the rotunda of visitors before the first couple arrived. The doors to the rotunda had opened about 45 minutes earlier for members of the public to come pay their respects. 

      Earlier on Tuesday, George H.W. Bush’s service dog Sully was among the dozens who gathered to pay their respects to the late president as his casket lies in the Capitol Rotunda on Tuesday. 

      The yellow Labrador was cast into the spotlight after he was seen lying by his late owner’s American flag-covered casket in a photograph that went viral over the weekend as the nation mourns the passing of its 41st president.  

      The casket is now lying in state at the US Capitol before it will be transported to the Washington National Cathedral for a memorial service on Wednesday. 

      A steady stream of thousands of visitors – including President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania – flowed through the rotunda on Tuesday. 

      Dressed in an American Flag therapy vest, Sully was escorted into the rotunda by a woman who stood by the dog’s side as cameras clicked away.   

      In attendance were a number of veterans, many of them in wheelchairs, and current military personnel standing at attention. 

      SCROLL DOWN FOR VIDEO 


      George H.W. Bush’s service dog Sully paid a visit to his late owner’s casket in the Capitol Rotunda on Tuesday morning as dozens gathered to pay their respects to the late president, who will lie in state until Wednesday morning 


      The yellow Labrador gifted to Bush in June wore an American flag-themed service animal vest while visiting the Capitol


      Sully laid patiently in front of the flag-draped casket as dozens of mourners looked on during the somber occasion 


      Also attending the rotunda gathering was the late president’s son Neil Bush (center)


      Neil Bush appeared to be fighting to keep his composure as he placed a hand on the casket of his late father


      Among the visitors was former Senator Bob Dole, 95, who stood up from his wheelchair to salute Bush’s casket 

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        Cindy McCain, the widow of the late Sen. John McCain, stopped by to pay her respects. 

        It’s believed to be her first visit to the Capitol Rotunda since her husband laid in state under its Dome in September.

        McCain stood before the flag-draped casket, her head bowed, for a few moments.

        Dressed in black with a single strand of pearls, the wife of the late senator’s eyes were teary but she held her composure before the crowd of people visiting the late president’s remains.

        Before she left, she kissed her hand, walked to the coffin and touched it.

        Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell escorted her from the rotunda.


        Cindy McCain, the widow of the late Sen. John McCain, stopped by the Capitol Rotunda to pay her respects to the 41st president


        It’s believed to be Cindy McCain’s first visit to the Capitol Rotunda since her husband laid in state under its Dome in September


        Billy Bush – the nephew of George H.W. – gazes at his uncle’s casket alongside members of his own family


        Former NFL football quarterback Peyton Manning walks out of the Capitol Rotunda after viewing Bush’s casket


        Professional golfer Hale Irwin, Peyton Manning, PGA golfer Phil Mickelson, and Duke head basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski are seen (left to right) paying their respects to the late president on Tuesday afternoon


        The casket sitting in the center of the Capitol Rotunda is seen from above as visitors circulated around it

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          The CIA also honored its old boss, the only spy chief to become president, with visits the rotunda Tuesday, joining members of the public who had lined up before dawn to pay respects to the 41st president.  

          CIA Director Gina Haspel and former directors John Brennan and George Tenet visited Bush’s casket, as did Colin Powell, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff when Bush assembled the coalition that rescued Kuwait from Iraq’s invasion in the Gulf War.

          Kuwait’s Emir Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, also arrived to pay respects to the former US president. 

          Members of the Bush family who attended the viewing on Tuesday included the president’s son Neil and his wife along with the president’s nephew Billy Bush and his family. 

          Journalists Brett Baier and Chris Matthews arrived in the afternoon shortly before famed NFL quarterback Peyton Manning, PGA golfer Phil Mickelson, Duke head basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski and professional golfer Hale Irwin.

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          Thousands lined up to pass through the Capitol Rotunda and pay their respects to the 41st president on Tuesday 


          Sully, who was cast into the spotlight when a photo of him lying by his late owner’s casket went viral over the weekend, drew the attention of photographers as he waltzed into the rotunda 


          Sully visited with many of the veterans who had gathered to pay their respects to Bush, who was a key advocate for the Americans with Disabilities Act and himself a World War II veteran


          Bush will lie in state until Wednesday, when his casket is brought to Washington National Cathedral for a memorial service


          The pup wore a mournful look on his face at the somber scene, though witnesses around Washington, DC, say Sully has been cheerful during his visit to the capital


          As he came into the room, Sully looked up at a photographer crouching on the ground to capture the pup’s entrance


          Former CIA directors George Tenet (left) and John Brennan (center) pause alongside current director Gina Haspel (right)


          Former US Secretary of State Colin Powell (center) and US military Operation Desert Storm Commanders salute the casket


          Former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice stands over the casket with a serious expression on her face


          Neil Bush (center in a red tie), his wife Maria Bush, center left, and members of his family greet visitors inside the rotunda


          The late president’s brother Jonathan Bush and his son Jonathan S Bush approach the casket during the emotional affair


          Billy Bush appeared to wipe a tear from his eye as he exited the room filled with people mourning Bush’s passing


          Former personal aides to the 41st president are seen entering the rotunda to visit their late boss on Tuesday afternoon 


          An aide wheeled former Senator Dole up to the casket, where the 95-year-old received assistance in standing up to salute


          Kuwait’s Emir Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah (center) arrives to pay respects to the former US president, who was in office during the Gulf War that freed Kuwait from Iraq


          Republican Representative of North Carolina Patrick McHenry and his daughter Cecelia pause in front of the casket


          Journalists Chris Matthews and Brett Baier are seen behind the velvet rope surrounding the casket on Tuesday afternoon 


          President Trump’s former press secretary Sean Spicer was photographed inside the rotunda on Tuesday afternoon


          Hale Irwin, Peyton Manning, Phil Mickelson and Mike Krzyzewski lower their heads in respect for the late president 


          Golf legend Jack Nicklaus (left) golfer Fred Couples (second from right) and sportscaster Jim Nantz (right) after pictured with other members of the sporting community who came to pay their respects to 41 on Tuesday

          After services in Washington, Bush will be returned to Houston to lie in repose at St Martin’s Episcopal Church before being buried Thursday at his family plot on the grounds of his presidential library.

          His final resting place will be alongside Barbara Bush, his wife of 73 years who died in April, and Robin Bush, the daughter they lost to leukemia in 1953 at age three.

          Trump has ordered the federal government closed Wednesday for a national day of mourning. Flags on public buildings are flying at half-staff for 30 days.

          Bush’s passing puts him in the Washington spotlight after more than two decades living the relatively low-key life of a former president. His death also reduces membership in the ex-presidents’ club to four: Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama.

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            A woman chokes back tears while admiring the casket during the emotional proceedings on Tuesday in Washington, DC


            Former Secretary of State Colin Powell, center, leads Desert Storm Commanders to pay their respect on Tuesday


            Retired U.S. Army General Barry McCaffrey (left) and former Secretary of State Colin Powell bow their heads over the casket 


            Two members of the military stands watch over the American flag-draped casket of as Bush lies in state on Tuesday


            Service members perform a changing of the guard in front of the casket midday on Tuesday


            Former president George W Bush and wife Laura choke back tears as they walk past the casket on Monday


            President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania are seen standing over the casket on Monday after it arrived in Washington


            After leaving the rotunda, Sully took a moment to pose with fans in Statuary Hall, including Former United States Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge (pictured)

            Sully – named after the heroic pilot who successfully landed a damaged passenger jet on the Hudson River which saved the lives of 155 people in 2009 – was gifted to Bush by nonprofit organization America’s VetDogs in June after the passing of former First Lady Barbara Bush. 

            The president had a form of Parkinson’s disease, and Sully could open doors, pick up items and summon help. 

            The beloved pup accompanied Bush’s remains aboard Air Force One as they were transported from Houston to the capital on Sunday. 

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              The heartbreaking viral image of Sully lying next to the 41st president’s coffin in Houston on Sunday is pictured above


              Bush’s official Twitter account posted an image of Sully and former President, Bill Clinton, on June 25 after Sully’s arrival. The tweet read: ‘A great joy to welcome home the newest member of our family, “Sully,” a beautiful – and beautifully trained – lab from America’s VetDogs’

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                Sully will soon go back to work alongside two other service dogs helping wounded military personnel at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Washington, DC. 

                He will assist with physical and occupational therapy to wounded soldiers and active duty personnel – a tribute to his late owner Bush – a decorated World War II veteran.

                ‘Our thoughts and prayers are with the entire Bush family during this difficult time,’ said John Miller, President and CEO of America’s VetDogs.

                ‘It was truly an honor to have provided service dog Sully to be by the president’s side for the past several months.

                ‘As a true patriot and a visionary, President Bush will forever be viewed by people with disabilities and their families as a hero through his efforts to enact the Americans with Disabilities Act.

                ‘We are forever grateful to his service to the American people.’  

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                  GEORGE H.W. BUSH’S SERVICE DOG, SULLY, CAN PERFORM TWO-PAGE LIST OF COMMANDS


                  Sully is seen above with the former President in this undated image posted on social media

                  Sully, George H.W. Bush’s yellow Labrador service dog, is not done doing his duty for his country.

                  The loyal canine, who was photographed mournfully lying beside his friend’s casket in Houston on Sunday, will accompany him on the plane to Washington, D.C., on Monday, CNN is reporting. 

                  Sully was named, appropriately enough, after Chesley B. “Sully” Sullenberger III, the heroic pilot who successfully landed a damaged passenger jet on the Hudson River which saved the lives of 155 people in 2009.

                  He is a specially trained dog who is capable of following a lengthy list of commands, including answering the phone and fetching items.

                  ‘As one person said, he can do just about anything except make you a martini, but not to worry, he can go get you someone to make you a martini,’ Bush family spokesperson Jim McGrath told CNN. 

                  The Bush family has grown especially close to the dog, as evidenced by an Instagram post by former President George W. Bush.

                  ‘As much as our family is going to miss the dog, we’re comforted to know he’ll bring the same joy to his new home, Walter Reed, that he brought to 41,’ the 43rd President wrote on Instagram.

                  The post was shared by the dog’s Instagram account, ‘sullyhwbush.’

                  Sully was given to the elder Bush by America’s VetDogs, a New York-based nonprofit group which provides service dogs to veterans in need.

                  After news broke of Bush’s passing on Saturday, America’s VetDogs tweeted a statement, saying: ‘America’s VetDogs is deeply saddened by the loss of President George H.W. Bush.

                  ‘Our condolences go out to the Bush family at this time.’


                  After news broke of Bush’s passing on Saturday, America’s VetDogs tweeted a statement, saying: ‘America’s VetDogs is deeply saddened by the loss of President George H.W. Bush. Our condolences go out to the Bush family at this time.’ The tweet was attached to an image showing Bush being pushed in a wheelchair while holding a leash as Sully walks beside him


                  Sully (seen above in this undated file photo posted to Instagram) will continue his service to America after the death of the 41st President


                  America’s VetDogs, an organization which pairs specially trained service dogs with wounded veterans, will return Sully to its Smithtown, New York headquarters, where he will stay for the holiday season




                  He is then expected to be transferred to the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center’s Facility Dog Program in Bethesda, where canines help wounded veterans as they undergo physical and occupational therapy

                  The tweet was attached to an image showing Bush being pushed in a wheelchair while holding a leash as Sully walks beside him.

                  America’s VetDogs told KTRK-TV that Sully will return to its Smithtown, New York headquarters, where he will stay for the holiday season.

                  He is then expected to be transferred to the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center’s Facility Dog Program in Bethesda, where canines help wounded veterans as they undergo physical and occupational therapy.

                  ‘Our thoughts and prayers are with the entire Bush family during this difficult time,’ said John Miller, President and CEO of America’s VetDogs.

                  ‘It was truly an honor to have provided service dog Sully to be by the president’s side for the past several months.

                  ‘As a true patriot and a visionary, President Bush will forever be viewed by people with disabilities and their families as a hero through his efforts to enact the Americans with Disabilities Act.

                  ‘We are forever grateful to his service to the American people.’ 

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