Washington to pay respects, bid farewell to George HW Bush

"And he said, 'Good". He's going to surprise us again.

During that time and after, Gorbachev said, he always appreciated the kindness Bush and his family showed him.

"And he cocked one eye open and quipped, 'Well, you better hurry", James Baker recalled Sunday as he described the 41st president's final hours of life. He called Bush his best friend and "a handsome, lovely human being".

Mr and Mrs Trump said Mr Bush had "inspired generations of his fellow Americans to public service".

After military service, Bush enrolled in Yale University, where he would become a scholar-athlete, captaining the baseball team to two College World Series before graduating Phi Beta Kappa after just 2½ years. He died Friday in Houston at age 94. He had suffered from vascular Parkinsonism and in recent years struggled to speak more than a few words at a time. He would go on to serve as ambassador to the United Nations and China, head of the Central Intelligence Agency and chairman of the Republican National Committee before being elected to two terms as Ronald Reagan's vice president.

Bush's body will be transported by a motorcade Monday morning from a Houston funeral home to Ellington Field Joint Reserve Base, a Texas Air National Guard base.

On Monday, Bush's body will be transported to Washington, DC, where he will lie in state in the US Capitol rotunda until Wednesday morning, when there will be a memorial service at Washington National Cathedral. A state funeral is being arranged with all of the accompanying support and honors. It will be the first presidential funeral since Gerald Ford died in 2006.

Bush, who served a single term in the White House 1989 to 1993, will receive a state funeral Wednesday at the National Cathedral in Washington, followed by burial Thursday at his presidential library in Texas.

Mr Trump declared a period of national mourning and ordered American flags to be flown at half-mast for 30 days to honour a man of "sound judgment, common sense and unflappable leadership".

"It's important to me to join the Bush family in celebrating President George H.W. Bush's exemplary life", she tweeted. "Whenever I was with him I saw his absolute joy for life and true pride in his family".

"He was just a high-quality man who truly loved his family", Trump said Saturday while in Argentina.

Bush's remains will be returned to Houston on Wednesday afternoon. He'll arrive at College Station at 3:45 p.m. where he will be interred at Texas A&M University at the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum alongside Barbara and Robin. A funeral procession will travel on George Bush Drive toward the Bush Library complex.

A USA government plane has arrived in Texas to transport the body of former President George H.W. Bush to Washington for a state funeral.

Barbara Bush passed away in April at the age of 92.

Vanessa Coleman