On August 25th, after a battle with an aggressive form of brain cancer, Senator John McCain passed away at 81 years old. As one of his final acts, the politician and Vietnam War veteran asked former Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush to give eulogies at his funeral. President Donald Trump, however, will not even be invited.
Two unnamed White House officials told CBS News that before the senator’s death, McCain’s family asked Trump not to attend the funeral. Vice President Mike Pence, however, will likely be present at the service. McCain ran against both Obama and Bush in the past; Bush beat McCain in the Republican primaries in 2000, while McCain ran against Obama in the presidential election of 2008.
Throughout Trump’s presidency, McCain was an outspoken critic of current U.S. leader’s actions. As BBC News notes, McCain was one of three Republican senators to vote against Trump’s plan to repeal Obamacare. And after the now-infamous Access Hollywood tape leaked, McCain reportedly said that Trump should “suffer the consequences” of his alleged sexual misconduct.
According to The Washington Post, White House staff, including Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, drafted an official statement for Trump that called McCain a “hero” for his military service and praised him for his time in the Senate. But Trump reportedly told his aides that he would prefer to pay tribute to McCain with a tweet. His statement, issued the evening of the 25th, made no mention of the late senator’s military or government careers.
The Arizona Republic reports that McCain’s body will lie in state at the Arizona State Capitol on August 29th before a local funeral is held on August 30th. The late senator will then be moved to Washington, D.C., where he will lie in state at the U.S. Capitol on August 31st before a funeral at the National Cathedral on September 1st. He will be buried at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.
Our hearts go out to McCain’s family and loved ones during this difficult time.