US Senator John McCain, who died of brain cancer on Saturday, requested that former presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush deliver eulogies at his funeral, and did not wish President Donald Trump to attend his services, according to reports.
McCain had long feuded with President Trump, and his family asked, before the senator’s death, that Trump not attend the funeral services, two White House officials familiar with the plans told The Associated Press.
Former Vice President Joe Biden will speak at a separate service in Arizona.
Obama, who defeated McCain in the 2008 presidential race, issued a statement shortly after the senator’s death, saying that "we shared, for all our differences, a fidelity to something higher — the ideals for which generations of Americans and immigrants alike have fought, marched, and sacrificed."
"Few of us have been tested the way John once was, or required to show the kind of courage that he did," Obama said. "But all of us can aspire to the courage to put the greater good above our own. At John's best, he showed us what that means. And for that, we are all in his debt."
Bush, who defeated McCain for the Republican nomination in 2000, issued a statement praising McCain as "a man of deep conviction and a patriot of the highest order."
The White House had prepared an official statement that hailed the life of McCain, but President Trump told senior advisers that he preferred to post a tweet instead.
Trump’s tweet did not include any kind words for the long-time senator and Vietnam War veteran.
"My deepest sympathies and respect go out to the family of Senator John McCain. Our hearts and prayers are with you!" Trump posted Saturday evening.
My deepest sympathies and respect go out to the family of Senator John McCain. Our hearts and prayers are with you!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 26, 2018
McCain will lie in state at the Arizona Capitol on Wednesday, before his body will be flown to Washington to lie in state at the US Capitol.
McCain, who served as a Republican senator from Arizona for more than three decades, wished to be buried at the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, near the grave of a long-time friend.
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