With the Arizona Senator’s health continuing to decline, preparations are being made by John McCain’s family for his final arrangements. Among those arrangements came the news that Trump’s presence has not been requested.
Per The New York Times, “[McCain’s] intimates have informed the White House that their current plan for his funeral is for Vice President Mike Pence to attend the service to be held in Washington’s National Cathedral but not President Trump, with whom Mr. McCain has had a rocky relationship.”
Despite the atrocious optics of lecturing a United States Senator about who he can and cannot invite to his own funeral, Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) did just that.
Sen. Hatch on McCain request that Trump skip his funeral: “I think it’s ridiculous.” Says he hopes McCain reconsiders
— Burgess Everett (@burgessev) May 7, 2018
In his desperation to pander to the beleaguered president in the midst of a slew of investigations and with a dismal approval rating, the Utah Republican overlooked the fact that his colleague might not want his funeral to be upstaged by a man who is physically incapable of ceding attention. Nor might he desire the presence of a man who has constantly and unapologetically denigrated him for his status as a prisoner of war and his vote on the failed – and decidedly unpopular – Republican effort to repeal Obamacare.
The funeral will take place at the Washington National Cathedral. McCain is currently undergoing treatment for brain cancer, with which he was diagnosed last year.
McCain’s wishes were relayed in his upcoming memoir, “The Restless Wave,” set to be released this month. In the book, the Republican Senator reflects on his regrets and mistakes, such as choosing Sarah Palin as his running mate during the 2008 election over former Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman.
“It was sound advice that I could reason for myself,” McCain writes of the decision not to choose Lieberman. “But my gut told me to ignore it and I wish I had.”
This is, of course, not the first time that Trump has been precluded from a prominent ceremony. Only weeks ago, Trump was notably absent at the funeral of former First Lady Barbara Bush amid reports that he was “not welcome” given his fraught relationship with the Bush family.
Trump was also not invited to the wedding of the UK’s Prince Harry and American actress Meghan Markle. The couple ultimately opted not to invite any world leaders, although it is likely that the couple’s plain disdain for the president factored into that decision. Markle, for her part, has called the President “divisive” and a “misogynist.”
While Senator Hatch has plenty of unpopular positions, this one might just take the cake.