Trump on Monday said he wanted to hold a service for his younger brother, who died Saturday, at the White House, telling reporters, “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.”
Trump family members are expected to attend the Friday funeral, as is first lady Melania Trump. The White House is anticipating “several dozen” guests for the service, which is expected to be held in the East Room, another White House source told CNN.
A White House official confirmed to CNN the costs for the service at the White House will be privately paid for by the President.
The plans were first reported by ABC News.
Robert Trump died at the age of 71 on Saturday at a New York hospital. Details of his illness have not been released, but a person familiar with knowledge of the matter told CNN that he had been sick for several months.
Robert Trump was born in 1948 and was one of four siblings to the President, including the late Fred Trump, Jr. He had served as an executive vice president of the Trump Organization.
It is a rare event for the East Room to be used for funeral events, outside of a ceremony for a deceased president. There is precedent, however. In 1890, President Benjamin Harrison utilized the East Room for funeral services for the wife and daughter of his Secretary of the Navy, Benjamin Tracy. The two women were killed in a fire.
And in 1936, President Franklin D. Roosevelt hosted a state funeral in the East Room for his longtime political adviser and close friend Louis Howe.
The body of Abraham Lincoln laid in state in the East Room in 1865. Three years earlier, Lincoln’s 11-year-old son Willie’s funeral was also held in the East Room. In 1963, John F. Kennedy laid in state in the East Room. The first presidents to have funereal services in the East Room of the White House were William Harrison in 1841, and Zachary Taylor in 1850.