Obama and Trump have a chilly but civil reunion at George HW Bush's funeral

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Donald Trump Barack ObamaKevin Lamarque/ReutersPresident Donald Trump and Barack Obama had an uncomfortable reunion on Wednesday.

  • President Donald Trump and former President Barack Obama had a chilly but civil reunion at the funeral for former President George H.W. Bush on Wednesday.
  • The current and former president shook hands but did not interact much beyond that.
  • This marked the first time Obama and Trump have spoken since Inauguration Day in January 2017.

President Donald Trump and former President Barack Obama had a chilly but civil reunion at the funeral for former President George H.W. Bush on Wednesday.

The current and former president shook hands and sat near one another, separated only by First Lady Melania Trump.

This marked the first time Obama and Trump have spoken since Inauguration Day in January 2017.

Obama TrumpKevin Lamarque/ReutersPresident Donald Trump and former President Barack Obama shake hands at a funeral service for former President George H.W. Bush.

The two men have been adversaries for years. Trump was extremely critical of Obama when he was still in the White House, and famously perpetuated a conspiracy theory many decried as racist about the former president's place of birth.

In Obama's first post-presidency year, he was relatively quiet and largely stayed away from politics. But he's been far more vocal in 2018, particularly in the months that led up to the 2018 midterms.

Read more: 'He is a symptom, not the cause': Obama takes direct aim at Trump for the first time since leaving office

The former president in various speeches has often criticized Trump without explicitly stating his name. In September, however, Obama took his most direct swipe at his successor yet.

Speaking on the divisiveness plaguing American politics at present, the former president said Trump was a "symptom, not the cause."

"It did not start with Donald Trump," Obama said at the time. "He is a symptom, not the cause. He's just capitalizing on resentments that politicians have been fanning for years."

Trump routinely criticizes Obama and attempts to contrast his presidency to that of his predecessor, especially via Twitter.

In the modern era, current presidents have often developed friendships with their closest predecessors in spite of political differences, but Obama and Trump have been the exception to this rule.

Other former presidents at the funeral on Wednesday, including George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and Jimmy Carter, have also been critical of Trump. But the late commander-in-chief reportedly wanted Trump at his funeral to send a message of unity in a chaotic, divisive era. In this context, the current and former presidents appeared to be on their best behavior at the service.

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