President Donald Trump will host a funeral service at the White House Friday for his younger brother Robert who died aged 71 after ‘suffering brain bleeds from a recent fall’, according to sources familiar with the matter.
Robert’s body will be driven from New York to the White House for the private service, which will be attended by around 200 of the president’s family and friends, the sources told ABC News.
This marks the first time a funeral service has been held at the US seat of government since President John F. Kennedy’s funeral following his assassination back in 1963.
Trump’s brother will also become one of only three private citizens known to have had their funeral service in the White House in its entire history.
The service will take place Friday in the East Room of the White House, a source told ABC News.
Around 200 people have been invited to the private ceremony which is reportedly being personally paid for by the president.
Trump said Monday he was considering holding a small service at the White House for Robert, saying his brother would be ‘greatly honored’ and ‘loved our country’ so it would be ‘appropriate’.
‘We’re looking at Friday. And we may do just a small service right here in the White House for my brother. We’re looking at doing that. That would be, I think, a great honor to him,’ Trump told reporters on the South Lawn.
‘I think he’d be greatly honored. He loves our country – he loved our country so much.
‘He was so proud of what we were doing and what we are doing for our country. So, I think it would be appropriate.’
The last time a funeral was held at the White House was in 1963 for JFK after he was assassinated in Dallas by Lee Harvey Oswald on November 22.
Following the shooting, Kennedy’s body was flown back to the White House and placed in the East Room and set upon the same catafalque used at Lincoln’s funeral, where officials and heads of state visited to pay their respects.
His funeral took place at the White House on November 25 and his body was buried in Arlington Memorial Cemetery.
Other presidents who were assassinated also had services at the White House.
Presidents Abraham Lincoln and William McKinley lay in state in the East Room and James Garfield did not have a White House funeral but did lie in state in the Capitol Rotunda.
Other presidents who died while in office, like Franklin Roosevelt, also lay in state at the White House.
It is rare for a non-president to have a funeral service at the White House.
There have been only two other known services for private citizens in history – the last being in 1936 for Louis Howe, an advi….