President Obama will skip the funeral of former First Lady Nancy Reagan to go to the South by Southwest music and arts festival in Texas, according to a report.
Obama had been scheduled appear at the popular annual interactive celebration in Austin, making him the first sitting president to speak at the gathering, but will not alter his plans to attend the funeral, The Daily Caller reported.
White House officials later confirmed the report. Reagan’s funeral on Friday is by invite-only, and arrangements had been finalized before her death, leading many to believe that Reagan herself declined to invite Obama.
First Lady Michelle will instead attend Reagan’s funeral, before joining her husband at the festival, which drew 80,000 attendees last year. Also in attendance will be Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton.
Reagan passed away Sunday at the age of 94 after suffering from congestive heart failure. She had been deteriorating health for many years. Reagan, known as an influential and protective first lady, was perhaps most famous for spearheading the “Just Say No” anti-drug campaign.
Despite the funeral snub, Obama -who also drew condemnation for skipping the funeral last month of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia – has consistently spoken fondly of Reagan.