While the American flag flies at half-staff at the White House as funeral plans are made for Senator John McCain, America is wondering if their president will attend the funeral of the former war hero.
McCain, who died of brain cancer at the age of 81 on Saturday, “will be laid to rest at the U.S. Naval Academy Cemetery in Annapolis, Maryland,” according to his funeral schedule on his website.
Due to the severity of his brain cancer, Senator McCain helped plan his funeral earlier in the year. He specifically asked that President Donald Trump not attend the service, after the president publicly disgraced McCain on multiple occasions.
In a video obtained by TMZ, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders is asked if the president will attend the funeral, to which she answers “We’ll keep you posted,” but the outlook is unclear.
When asked if she herself will attend, Sanders answered “absolutely,” then noted that McCain was a war hero and his passing was a great loss for the country. Press continued to ask if Trump would be in attendance, but Sanders would not budge on the question.
Many doubt the president will be in attendance, as he did not even attend Barbara Bush’s funeral and will likely pass on McCain’s especially with their reported “bad blood.”
The bad blood began as Trump ran for the presidency, and in 2015 visited Arizona. After his visit, McCain said Trump had “fired up the crazies” in his state, beginning a battle. By the end of the month Trump had talked down about McCain’s Vietnam War service saying McCain was “not a war hero,” despite him spending more than five years as a POW and enduring torture.
John McCain with his squadron, 1965. pic.twitter.com/hVx9Y8Kxmr
— History Lovers Club (@historylvrsclub) August 26, 2018
The battle continued as Trump refused to apologize and said he did not regret his words. McCain eventually endorsed Trump in 2016 then withdrew his support after a video of the president bragging about groping women emerged. As the feud continued into the end of McCain’s life, he said he did not want Trump to attend his funeral.
While Trump works out whether or not to attend the funeral, ex-Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama are rumored to be offering eulogies, as McCain asked them to speak before his passing. Former Vice President Joe Biden is also expected to speak at an Arizona service in Senator McCain’s honor.
A full dress funeral service will reportedly take place at the Washington National Cathedral before the burial. Senator McCain is expected to lie in state within the Arizona Capitol and Capitol Rotunda, which is only the 13th time a senator has done so according to the New York Times.