As the nation mourns the loss of Arizona Sen. John McCain, plans for his funeral — which may not include President Donald Trump, per the request of the deceased senator — are well underway.
Those close to the American war hero, who died Saturday afternoon following a fierce battle with glioblastoma, informed the White House that their plan was to invite Vice President Mike Pence to attend the memorial service to be held at Washington’s National Cathedral — but not President Trump, as The New York Times originally reported in May.
McCain’s relationship with Trump, which played out publicly, has rarely been smooth.
During his presidential campaign, for example, Trump remarked, of McCain’s history as a POW, “He’s not a war hero. He’s a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured.”
As NBC News also reported at the time about the incident, “McCain’s wish for Trump to skip his funeral, first reported [in early May] by The New York Times, comes as the two men have had a turbulent relationship, particularly since the 2016 presidential primary when Trump said McCain was considered a war hero only ‘because he was captured’ during the Vietnam War and that Trump preferred military figures who avoided being taken prisoner by the enemy.”
The feelings between the two seemed mutual.
Following Trump’s press conference with Vladimir Putin, McCain said, “Today’s press conference in Helsinki was one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president in memory. The damage inflicted by President Trump’s naïveté, egotism, false equivalence, and sympathy for autocrats is difficult to calculate. But it is clear that the summit in Helsinki was a tragic mistake,” as ABC News and others reported.
The 81-year-old Vietnam POW helped plan his own funeral and made his wish of Trump’s non-attendance at the service known to several people, according to CNN’s reporting on the matter.
Though Trump — if McCain’s and the McCain family’s wishes are respected — may not attend the funeral services, former United States presidents of both parties likely will be there.
Former presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama are expected to eulogize McCain, as multiple outlets reported.
Social media users, as always, were quick to weigh in on these events and discussions.
Sounds like Trump’s off the hook to me. No harm no foul. Move forward
— Be Real (@Kicker_Mom) August 26, 2018
Wow @thehill this is not news, everyone already knows this & you couldn’t let it go!! He sent his condolences to the family & was attacked by @brithume for not saying something nice abt McCain! They didn’t like ea other Y wld he!
— Chrissy Berens (@ChristineBeren2) August 26, 2018
What I love about this decision is that McCain knew it would be controversial so he made the decision public while he was alive and his loved ones will bear less I'll will.
— The Civee (@TheCivee) August 26, 2018
Michele Blood is a Flemington, New Jersey-based freelance writer and a regular contributor to LifeZette.