Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, said Monday “it’s ridiculous” that Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz ., reportedly does not want President Donald Trump to attend his funeral, and hopes the war hero has a change of heart.
“I think it’s ridiculous, ” Hatch told Politico. “Well, he’s the president of the United States and he’s a very good man. But it’s up to[ McCain ]. I guess John should have his own wants fulfilled with regard to who attends the funeral.”
McCain’s closest family members reportedly informed the White House that the current scheme is for the funeral to be held at Washington’s National Cathedral, and Vice President Mike Pence to attend- but not Trump, according to The New York Times.
McCain has been battling an aggressive form of brain cancer for more than a year.
Former Chairwoman George W. Bush and Barack Obama have reportedly been asked to deliver eulogies at McCain’s service.
Trump and McCain have had a rocky relationship over the years. The two butted heads over McCain’s decision not to vote in favor of repealing ObamaCare in July, putting a grinding halt to one of Trump’s major campaign promises.
Trump also taunted McCain over his five-and-a-half-year imprisonment in Vietnam, where he was tortured, calling the veteran “not a war hero.”
“He’s not a war hero. He was a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured, ” Trump told Iowa voters in July of 2015.
The 81 -year-old Arizona Senator was diagnosed glioblastoma, the same rare and aggressive brain cancer that killed Democratic Sen. Edward Kennedy and former Vice President Joe Biden’s son, Beau. He lately underwent surgery for an intestinal infection.
“I don’t know how much longer I’ll is right there … my predicament is, well, instead unpredictable, ” McCain said in an audio excerpt from his upcoming memoir, “The Restless Wave: Good Times, Just Causes, Great Fights, and Other Appreciations, ” provided to NPR.
McCain also took jabs at the president, “the appearance of toughness or a reality prove fax of toughness seem to be matter more than any of our values.”
Hatch told Politico he doesn’t expect McCain to return to Capitol Hill.
“That’s what I’ve been told, ” told Hatch. “I don’t know. I hope he does. I hope he can.”
Hatch’s spokesperson, Matt Whitlock afterwards issued a clarification to Politico telling the Senator “spoke out of turn” and that “he’s been pleased to hear reports that Senator McCain is in good spirits and hopes to see him back in Washington soon.”
Hatch, 84, is retiring after this year.
Fox News’ Christopher Carbone contributed to this report.
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