President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump paid tribute to the Rev. Billy Graham on Wednesday at the U.S. Capitol.
At a ceremony with congressional leaders and government officials, Trump talked of Graham’s achievements and his rise to prominence as a religious leader. The president also reminisced about Graham’s impact on him growing up, and told a story of his father encouraging the family to attend an event at Yankee Stadium where the evangelist was speaking.
“And I remember that, because my father said to me, ‘Come on, Son,’” Trump said. “And by the way, he said, ‘Come on, Mom, let’s go see Billy Graham at Yankee Stadium.’ And it was something very special.”
Trump stood with Vice President Mike Pence and the first lady, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) nearby. The president tapped Graham’s coffin several times as he paid his respects.
The Rotunda was filled with several cabinet members and political leaders, including Attorney General Jeff Sessions Senate Minority and Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.).
“The man we recognize today shared the Gospel with more people face to face than anyone else in history,” McConnell said.
Graham, who met with 12 U.S. presidents during his career and counseled several of them, died in North Carolina last Tuesday at age 99.
Mr. Graham became the fourth private citizen in US history to lie in repose in the United States Capitol building.