John McCain’s grieving daughter takes a swipe at Donald Trump at her father’s funeral as Ivanka sits just yards away
John McCain’s daughter has said her father embodied “American greatness” as she used his funeral to dismiss “cheap rhetoric” in a pointed rebuke of Donald Trump.
As the president enjoyed a round of golf after a week dominated by the death of one of his most prominent Republican critics, Meghan McCain took a swipe at him during a heartfelt eulogy.
Speaking at times through tears about her father, the former Arizona senator and presidential candidate, Ms McCain said: “The America of John McCain has no reason to be great again because America was always great.”
Ms McCain did not mention Mr Trump by name but it was clear that her comment – which was greeted with applause by those at the Washington National Cathedral – was directed at the Oval Office.
Elsewhere during the two-and-a-half hour service the US president, who was not invited, and his approach to politics appeared to be critiqued by Barack Obama among others.
One of three former presidents in attendance, Mr Obama warned of how modern politics was dominated by “bombast and insult and phony controversies” before urging Americans to live by Mr McCain’s principles of patriotism.
George W Bush, the former Republican president who also gave a eulogy, said Mr McCain recognised “his opponents were still patriots and human beings”.
Henry Kissinger, one of America’s best known former diplomats, praised the former senator for warning against America’s “withdrawal from the world”.
Mr Trump, who clashed frequently with Mr McCain in recent years despite both men being from the same political party, spent the morning issuing familiar attacks on Twitter.
As the body of Mr McCain was being processed through Washington DC in a coffin draped in the American flag, Mr Trump was tweeting criticism of his own law officials from inside the White House.
Around half an hour into the service, which was broadcast live on cable news channels, Mr Trump left the White House in a ‘Make America Great Again’ hat and short-sleeved shirt, heading for one of his golf clubs.
The day epitomised a political struggle inside the Republican Party which Mr McCain, a war hero and six-term senator, and Mr Trump, a reality TV star turned elected president, had come to embody in recent years.
Mr Trump once mocked Mr McCain’s time as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, joking: “I like people that weren’t captured.” Mr McCain last year voted against Mr Trump’s attempt to repeal the healthcare legislation dubbed ‘Obamacare’, leading to its defeat.
At the funeral of Mr McCain, who died aged 81 of brain cancer and has been mourned in public ceremonies for much of this week, were many leading figures of the Washington establishment from both sides of the aisle.
Mr Obama and Mr Bush were joined by Bill and Hillary Clinton on the front row of the cathedral. Mitch McConnell and Chuck Schumer, the Republican and Democrat leaders in the US Senate, sat together in a sign of bipartisanship.
Top Trump administration figures were also there including Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner, White House chief of staff John Kelly and US defence secretary Jim Mattis. But Mr Trump, overlooked for an invite, was not. Ms McCain, 33, made clear her views of the US president during her address. “We gather here to mourn the passing of American greatness,” she said.
“The real thing, not cheap rhetoric from men who will never come near the sacrifice he gave so willingly, nor the opportunistic appropriation of those who lived lives of comfort and privilege while he suffered and served.”
Mr Obama, who has not often criticised his predecessor, also appeared to have Mr Trump in mind as he issued a critique of today’s political debate.
“So much of our politics, our public life, our public discourse can seem small and mean and petty, trafficking in bombast and insult and phony controversies and manufactured outrage,” Mr Obama said.
“It’s a politics that pretends to be brave and tough but in fact is born in fear. John called on us to be bigger than that. He called on us to be better than that.”
There were lighter moments during the ceremony as former presidents remembered Mr McCain’s quirks and flaws as well as his bravery.
Mr Obama and Mr Bush, who beat Mr McCain in the 2008 US election and the 2000 race for the Republican presidential nomination respectively, had been picked personally by the former Arizona senator to give eulogies.
Mr Obama said the decision reflected Mr McCain’s irreverence and sense of humour, saying: “What better way to get the last laugh than to make George and I say nice things about him to a national audience.”
Mr Obama also joked about Mr McCain’s temper, saying: “When it flared up, it was a force of nature, a wonder to behold. His jaw grinding, his face reddening, his eyes boring a hole right through you – not that I ever experienced it firsthand, mind you.”
But he also paid tribute to Mr McCain’s belief in American values: “John understood, as JFK understood, as Ronald Reagan understood, that part of what makes our country great is that our membership is based not on our bloodline, not on what we look like, what our last names are, it’s not based on where our parents or grandparents came from, or how recently they arrived, but on adherence to a common creed: that all of us are created equal, endowed by our creator with certain inalienable rights.”
Mr Bush recalled Mr McCain as a champion for the “forgotten people” at home and abroad. He said: “John’s voice will always come as a whisper over our shoulder – we are better than this, America is better than this.”
bY CRIMSON TAZVINZWA//Former Vice President Joe Biden gave an emotional eulogy at Sen. John McCain’s memorial service in Arizona on Thursday, calling the former Republican presidential candidate “a brother.”
He described Senator John McCain as a man of decency, respectability, fairness, respect for law and order, human rights and embodied what it is to be a true American patriot whose consideration transcended politics, and served his country with honor.
“Above all, we understood the same thing, all politics is personal,” Biden said of his similarities with McCain. “It’s all about trust. I trusted John with my life, and I would, and I think he would trust me with his.”
Sen. Lindsey Graham said Wednesday that President Donald Trump called him after he delivered an emotional farewell to Sen. John McCain on the Senate floor, telling the South Carolina Republican he “did right by his friend.””He called yesterday after my speech and he couldn’t have been nicer. He said, ‘That was very sad. I just want to let you know you did right by your friend.’ I said, Thank you Mr. President.'” Graham told CNN’s Dana Bash in an interview on “Inside Politics” Wednesday, adding that the call from the President was “right out of the blue.”Sen. Lindsey Graham said Wednesday that President Donald Trump called him after he delivered an emotional farewell to Sen. John McCain on the Senate floor, telling the South Carolina Republican he “did right by his friend.”
“Many people might wonder what a young, African American kid from Minnesota and a highly decorated Vietnam War hero-turned-United States Senator might have in common,” Fitzgerald said, via the Cardinals’ official website. “Well, I thought of a few.
“I’m black. He was white. I’m young. He wasn’t so young. He lived with physical limitations brought on by war. I’m a professional athlete. He ran for president. I run out of bounds. He was the epitome of toughness, and I do everything I can to avoid contact. I have flowing locks, and well, he didn’t. How does this unlikely pair become friends? I’ve asked myself the same question. But, you know what the answer is. That’s just who he is.”
Fitzgerald said he and McCain spent a lot of time together over the years, sometimes seeing each other on the practice field at the Cardinals‘ facility, and even communicated through text messages.
U.S. Senator Graham gets emotional remembering Senator John McCain
AIWA! NO!//Sen. Lindsey Graham took to the Senate floor Tuesday to give an emotional farewell to his friend and colleague, Sen. John McCain.
“I have been dreading this,” the South Carolina Republican said, wiping away tears. “And now I am going to do this.”
“My name is Graham, not McCain,” he said. “But I feel like a McCain. I don’t know if I have earned that honor, but I feel like it.”
Surrounded by a dozen members of the Senate from both sides of the aisle, Graham shared “a few dumb jokes told over and over” and talked of his trip to Vietnam when McCain returned to the Hanoi Hilton, his prison for five-and-a-half years. “I remember being in front of his cell, and you can see the wheels turning and the memories coming back,” he said. “I saw a bunch of photos on the wall of the prisoners playing volleyball, sitting in the sun with sunglasses on. I said, ‘John, must not have been that bad after all,’ and he said with a smile, ‘I don’t remember it this way.’ “And, in a moment that got chuckles from the room, Graham, as others before him, noted the late Arizona senator’s dry sense of humor.
“The more he humiliated you, the more he liked you. In that regard, I was well served,” Graham said.
Graham, standing next to the black velvet draped desk that was once McCain’s, appealed to his colleagues for help in the coming days.
“It is going to be a lonely journey for me for a while. I am going to need your help, and the void to be filled by John’s passing is more than I can fill,” he said.When he left the floor, Graham was greeted by hugs from Democratic Sens. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York.
Graham’s remarks were the first of what will be many times he will speak honoring his friend this week. Graham is scheduled to read scripture at McCain’s service Saturday at the National Cathedral in Washington, DC, and will give a tribute Sunday in Annapolis, Maryland, at the Naval Academy service.
bY BONNIE FULLER//Donald Trump used the excuse of bone spurs in his heels to avoid being drafted into the Vietnam War. The late John McCain volunteered to go and spent years being tortured as a POW. One was a patriotic American hero. The other is small and mean. Ask yourself this: could the current president of the United States possibly survive five and a half years of beatings and torture in a dirty, dark cell in a Vietnamese prison? Could the man in the Oval Office who constantly brags about himself and is trying to tear down the American rule of law to protect himself from Robert Mueller’s investigation, ever put the lives and well-being of others first? John McCain did. After he joined the Navy and was shot down and captured by the Vietnamese in 1967, he refused a unique offer of release from his hellish prison after a year of incarceration, because his father was the commander of U.S. Forces in the Pacific.
McCain, despite his dire circumstances, was so selfless that he refused this special treatment, until all the other American prisoners of war, who had been captured before him, were released first. Can you imagine Donald Trump, ever behaving this way? Based solely on his Vietnam service and honorable behavior during imprisonment, John McCain, was a true, patriotic American hero. In contrast, Donald Trump, instead of ever being imprisoned, has locked up and continues to lock up little migrant children and babies, who he has separated from their parents.
Now, even after John McCain has passed away at 81, after a hard fought battle against brain cancer, Donald Trump has continued to diss the long serving Republican Senator. Trump first mocked John McCain, when he was on the Presidential campaign trail saying: “He’s not a war hero. He was a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured”. This, from the man who sat out the Vietnam War playing football, tennis and squash.
That initial Trump attack was set off by John McCain, who had long supported comprehensive immigration reform, slamming Trump’s campaign attacks on Mexicans as ‘rapists’ and ‘criminals’, and his demand to build a wall along the Mexican border. McCain, denounced Trump’s bigoted insults and wall plan for “firing up the crazies”. The feud escalated throughout Trump’s presidency. Despite McCain’s 36 years of service representing Arizona in the House of Representatives and then in the Senate, vindictive Donald Trump, repeatedly mocked the Senator as he battled for his life in the past year. He couldn’t get over his fury with McCain for casting the decisive “NO” vote, against killing Obamacare.
McCain refused to take healthcare away from millions and the President has been enraged ever since.Trump, childishly mocked McCain’s infamous “thumbs down” sign on the Obamacare repeal, at multiple rallies of his loyal supporters. After McCain’s sad death on Aug. 25th, heartless Trump refused to issue a “presidential” statement honoring the accomplishments of this dedicated public servant, despite the pleas of the White House aides, according to The Washington Post, instead posting a terse tweet.
“My deepest sympathies and respect go out to the family of Senator John McCain. Our hearts and prayers are with you,” he wrote. Basically, the standard tweet he has used for the multiple, multiple victims of mass shootings since he has taken office. Just contrast that with the genuine words of respect and admiration from his political rival, President Barack Obama:
“John McCain and I were members of different generations, came from completely different backgrounds, and competed at the highest level of politics. But 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. We saw our political battles, even, as a privilege, something noble, an opportunity to serve as stewards of those high ideals at home, and to advance them around the world. We saw this country as a place where anything is possible – and citizenship as our patriotic obligation to ensure it forever remains that way.
Few of us have been tested the way John once was, or required to show the kind of courage that he did. 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. Michelle and I send our most heartfelt condolences to Cindy and their family.”
Then Trump layered on more personal pettiness by only lowering the flag at the White House for a mere 24 hours, despite the longtime tradition of keeping the White House flag at half mast until sitting Senators are buried. Only after massive public outrage including from multiple veteran groups, did Trump finally re-lower the flag late on the afternoon of Aug 27th and issue a statement that he was doing it “as a mark of respect for the memory and long standing service of Senator John Sidney McCain III”. How big of him, after his arm was virtually twisted.
“Farewell, fellow Americans. God bless you, and God bless America.”
Now, let’s just contrast Trump’s mean-spiritedness and cowardice with John McCain’s courage even after his death. The Senator wrote a letter before he passed away, which was made public today, Aug. 27, in which he condemns Trump’s destructive efforts to divide Americans and to tear us apart from our allies. “We weaken our greatness when we confuse our patriotism with tribal rivalries that have sown resentment and hatred and violence in all the corners of the globe,” he wrote. “We weaken it when we hide behind walls rather than tear them down, when we doubt the power of our ideals rather than trust them to be the great force for change they have always been”.
One man almost gave up his life in service of American values and greatness. Then devoted the rest of it to truly trying to make a America a greater place for all Americans, despite their races and backgrounds. The other man, has a MAGA slogan, but has spent his time in power trying to bully all who stand up to him while he supports white supremacists, cozies up to dictators like Vladimir Putin and urges his base to despise the mainstream media and every democratic voter.