McCain: Trump Not Wanted at Funeral; Obama, Bush to Deliver Eulogies


Arizona Sen. John McCain admits he doesn’t know how much longer his fight against brain cancer will last, but sources say the 81-year-old Republican has already made some of his wishes known for his funeral service.

The New York Times reported Saturday that those close to McCain have informed the White House that McCain would like to have Vice President Mike Pence attend his service at Washington’s National Cathedral, but that McCain does not want President Donald Trump to attend.

Meanwhile, CNN reports that McCain has reached out to former Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama and asked them to deliver eulogies.

The report comes as the Times has printed excerpts of McCain’s upcoming book, “The Restless Wave,” which is set to be released this month. In the book, McCain is critical of Trump’s seeming admiration for autocrats and disdain for refugees.

“He seems uninterested in the moral character of world leaders and their regimes,” he writes of the president. “The appearance of toughness or a reality show facsimile of toughness seems to matter more than any of our values. Flattery secures his friendship, criticism his enmity.”

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McCain and Trump have had a tumultuous relationship since the earliest days of Trump’s presidential campaign, when Trump said he did not consider McCain a war hero for the time served in a Vietnamese prison.

“He’s not a war hero,” Trump said in 2015. “He was a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured.”

McCain then angered Trump and many other Republicans when he cast a crucial vote last year against the repeal of ObamaCare. It was a major blow to one of Trump’s campaign promises to repeal the health care mandate.

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After his vote, McCain received a phone call from Obama, who thanked him for his vote.

In addition to his upcoming book, McCain has participated in interviews for a two-hour documentary about his life that is set to be released later this year.

The Times describes the book and the HBO documentary as amounting to “the senator’s final say on his career and a concluding argument for a brand of pro-free trade and pro-immigration Republicanism that, along with his calls for preserving the American-led international order, have grown out of fashion under President Trump.”

Former Vice President Joe Biden, whose son Beau died of the same type of brain cancer afflicting McCain, visited with McCain last week in Arizona. Biden told the Times about some of McCain’s concerns for the U.S. under Trump’s presidency.

“We talked about how our international reputation is being damaged and we talked about the need for people to stand up and speak out,” Biden said.

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In an audio excerpt from McCain’s book obtained by NPR, McCain says the widening partisan rift between Democrats and Republicans will only hurt the country moving forward.

“I’d like to see us recover our sense that we’re more alike than different,” McCain said.

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Scott Kelnhofer is a writer for The Western Journal and Conservative Tribune. A native of Milwaukee, he currently resides in Phoenix.
Scott Kelnhofer is a writer for The Western Journal and Conservative Tribune. He has more than 20 years of experience in print and broadcast journalism. A native of Milwaukee, he has resided in Phoenix since 2012.
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