Senator John McCain’s funeral may be a final message to President Donald Trump, according to those familiar with the late senator’s plans. McCain and Trump frequently clashed in the the senator’s final years and it appears that his funeral could intentionally snub the President.
McCain will lie in state in the Capitol Rotunda and his funeral will take place in Washington’s National Cathedral – both major honours rarely afforded to former politicians. But speculation is mounting about the specific arrangements for McCain’s funeral, particularly the eulogy.
Reports suggest that former Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama will be invited to give eulogies, but no invitation will be extended to Donald Trump. This is highly unusual. As the sitting president and leader of the Republican Party, Trump would normally have been given a prominent role in the ceremony. But reports suggest that McCain didn’t want Trump at his funeral at all.
Trump’s brief tweet about McCain’s passing has been widely criticized and reports that he quashed a formal White House statement about McCain are yet more evidence that Trump cannot forgive his critics, even in death. For his part, Senator McCain appears to have planned to snub Trump by inviting the two former presidents.
It remains to be seen whether Trump will attend the funeral or see McCain’s body as it lies in state but it is unlikely that the President would be happy to sit and listen to Barack Obama eulogize the senator. Trump has been restrained so far and not tweeted any criticism of McCain but as public attention builds for the late senator, Trump may decide to criticize the veteran Republican.
Meanwhile, there is speculation that McCain’s wife, Cindy, could fill his Senate seat. Cindy McCain would likely follow her husband’s lead in opposition to Trump’s policies, but McCain’s loss will leave the GOP without one of its strongest anti-Trump voices.