President Trump Not Attending John McCain's Funeral, Spokesman Says
President Donald Trump will not attend the funeral of U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), a family [...]
President Donald Trump will not attend the funeral of U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), a family spokesman said, The Washington Post reported Monday.
"The president will not be, as far as we know, attending the funeral. That's just a fact," Rick Davis, who served as McCain's campaign chairman and a longtime advisor, told reporters.
During the press conference in Phoenix, Davis also read a letter with McCain's farewell message to the country.
"We weaken our greatness when we confuse our patriotism with tribal rivalries that have sown resentment and hatred and violence in all the corners of the globe. We weaken it when we hide behind walls, rather than tear them down, when we doubt the power of our ideals, rather than trust them to be the great force for change they have always been," McCain's letter read.
"If only we remember that and give each other the benefit of the presumption that we all love our country, we will get through these challenging times. We will come through them stronger than before," the letter continued. "We always do."
McCain will be honored with a ceremony at the U.S. Capitol rotunda in Washington, D.C. Vice President Mike Pence will represent the Trump administration. Former Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama will speak at the Washington event, as previously reported.
Former Vice President Joe Biden, who served in the Senate alongside McCain, will speak during a service in Phoenix Thursday. McCain will be buried at the U.S. Naval Academy Cemetery in Annapolis, Maryland.
McCain and Trump had a combative relationship, even though McCain voted for many of Trump's proposed legislation, including the 2017 tax bill. However, McCain broke with Republicans last year to end an effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act. And early in the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump said he did not think McCain was a war hero because he was captured during the Vietnam War.
The animosity between Trump and McCain appeared to continue even after McCain's death at 81 on Saturday. Since his death, Trump has only issued a short tweet, writing, "My deepest sympathies and respect go out to the family of Senator John McCain. Our hearts and prayers are with you!"
The Trump Administration also raised the U.S. flag to full-staff Monday, after only a day and a half at half-staff to honor McCain. Meanwhile, other flags around Washington, including the one atop the U.S. Capitol, remained at half-staff Monday.
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