Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) told CNN that he told the late Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) “to turn over the dossier of Trump-Russia allegations to the FBI, pushing back against President Trump’s assertions that the Arizona Republican helped fan the flames of the Russia investigation.”
President Trump apparently thought he had an agreement with Fox Business not to talk about his criticism of Sen. John McCain.
After Maria Bartiromo mentioned McCain, Trump said: “Actually I thought you weren’t supposed to bring it up, but that’s OK. You know, fake news every once in a while.”
President Trump was asked by Maria Bartiromo on Fox Business why he is still attacking the late Sen. John McCain:
BARTIROMO: But Mr. President, he’s dead, he can’t punch back. I know you punch back…
BARTIROMO: …but he’s dead.
TRUMP: I don’t talk about it. People ask me the question.
The president went on to call McCain “horrible.”
“Even if you were invited to my dad’s funeral, you would have only wanted to be there for the credit and not for any condolences. Unfortunately, you could not be counted on to be courteous, as you are a child in the most important role the world knows.”
— Meghan McCain, quoted by The Guardian, responding to President Trump complaining that he was never thanked for the late Sen. John. McCain’s funeral.
Rep. Jason Lewis (R-MN), who was unseated in last week’s election, writes in the Wall Street Journal that former Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) is to blame for the GOP’s loss of the House majority since it was McCain’s decisive vote against legislation to repeal and replace Obamacare that led to so many Democratic midterm victories.
Lewis writes that the failed Senate vote allowed Democrats to campaign against Republicans with the claim that the GOP wanted to remove protections for those with pre-existing conditions.
Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) will name former Sen. Jon Kyl (R) to fill the seat of Sen. John McCain, after notifying McCain’s wife, Cindy, and other key political figures of his decision, the Arizona Republic reports.
“Kyl has agreed to serve at least through the end of the year… If he opts to step down after the end of the session, the Republican governor would be required to appoint another replacement.”
“Sen. John McCain’s life took on a fierce urgency after he was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2017, and he moved quickly to complete his final projects even as his health challenges sequestered him at his family home near Sedona,” a close friend told the Arizona Republic.
“McCain also never gave up hope that he might someday return to the U.S. Senate and until his April surgery for an intestinal infection related to diverticulitis was plotting a possible Capitol Hill comeback.”
”McCain was determined to plan his own memorial services, write a final book with his longtime collaborator and former chief of staff Mark Salter, participate in an HBO documentary about his career, and clear out a portion of the Cornville property that had been overgrown with brush and trees.“
Max Boot: “I have come to feel pessimistic lately about the future of America — demoralized because so many of my fellow citizens have endorsed a demagogue who threatens our democracy. But the McCain funeral offered a welcome moment of hope and grace — a promise of deliverance — at a dark time in our nation’s history. It affirmed what McCain himself said in his farewell statement when he affirmed his ‘heartfelt faith in Americans.'”
“I despair today a little less after the uplifting spectacle of the McCain funeral. I left feeling, as no doubt the funeral’s architect and honoree intended, re-energized in my desire to fight for the principles that he dedicated his life to. I hope others feel the same way. Together we can restore the tarnished beauty of America.”
President Trump’s allies “went on the counterattack Saturday after tributes to the late Sen. John McCain took pointed aim at the president,” Politico reports.
“As Washington mourned McCain, Trump’s people grew angry. Some even hoped for — but didn’t get — a blistering tweet from the president. And they privately chastised Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, Trump’s daughter and son-in-law, for attending the senator’s memorial service.”
”McCain’s service was, on one level, a return to old Washington civility, with Republicans and Democrats, past presidents, friends and foes gathered in unity. But as its tributes echoed with overt criticism of the president, it only deepened the hostility between the city’s establishment and the outsider in the White House.”
New York Times: “For the clusters of onlookers, besuited power players and three former presidents who had all traveled to Washington National Cathedral, the muggy day was a historic opportunity to memorialize the life of Senator John McCain, who was remembered as a deeply patriotic war hero, a former Republican presidential candidate and a scrappy, humanly flawed, ultimately idealistic lawmaker.”
“For President Trump, it was Saturday.”
“In the many discussions about how to mark his life that Mr. McCain had with his staff and family before he died, he had made clear he did not want Mr. Trump to participate in anything they planned. So as Mr. McCain was eulogized in the presence of much of the American political establishment, Mr. Trump, pointedly uninvited, engaged in what by now is a familiar weekend routine. He sent a series of angry tweets aimed at some political adversaries, then left the White House to play a round of golf at his resort in Virginia.”
Washington Post: “The sharp dichotomy of Trump’s pugilistic posts and the dignified memorial service, broadcast live by cable news stations and online, underscored the president’s unwillingness to embrace the traditional duties of office and his scorn of Washington’s protocols and conventions, which he has delighted in undermining.”
“So much of our politics, our public life, our public discourse, can seem small and mean and petty, trafficking in bombast and insult, in phony controversies and manufactured outrage. It’s a politics that pretends to be brave, but in fact is born of fear. John called us to be bigger than that. He called us to be better than that.”
— Former President Barack Obama, quoted by the New York Times, at Sen. John McCain’s (R-AZ) memorial service.
New York Times: “Former Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, the two men who thwarted Mr. McCain’s ambitions to become commander in chief, stood one after the other before the nation’s elite at Washington National Cathedral on Saturday to honor the man they beat, extolling him as a one-of-a-kind figure the likes of which will not be seen again anytime soon.”
“That they were asked, and not the current president, spoke volumes about the man and the moment. And while neither former president made explicit mention of President Trump, who left the White House as the service began to go to his golf course in Virginia — uninvited and unwelcome at the funeral — their tributes to the senator could hardly be heard without the unspoken contrast to the current occupant of the Oval Office.”
Susan Page: “At the memorial service he had carefully planned, John McCain managed to deliver a final and defiant rebuke to the man who wasn’t there, whose name was never uttered.”
“Like so many heroes, you leave us draped in the flag you loved … my father is gone and my sorrow is immense but I know his life and I know it was great because it was good.”
– Meghan McCain, in a tribute to her father at his funeral.
A new Economist/YouGov poll finds that just 52% of Republicans have a favorable view of the late Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), while 75% of Democrats have a favorable view of McCain.
Amber Phillips: “McCain ostensibly had plenty of time to orchestrate his memorial services as he battled brain cancer for a year before his death Saturday. That he would choose not to have his own vice presidential pick at his memorial service can be interpreted as a neon flashing signal to the world not just about his own personal regrets in life but how concerned he was about the rise of Trumpism — and perhaps his role in it.”
When asked by Bloomberg if the late Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) would have been a better president than Barack Obama, President Trump “declined to say, even as his press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, stared at him.”
Said Trump: “I don’t want to comment on it. I have a very strong opinion, all right.”
He then joked that Sanders was “having a nervous breakdown” over his response. “Maybe I’ll give you that answer some day later.”
“John McCain’s funeral will spotlight some of the late senator’s political rivals – but some of his closest campaign aides are being excluded from the proceedings,” Politico reports.
“Three of the most prominent members of his 2008 presidential campaign – campaign manager Steve Schmidt, senior adviser Nicolle Wallace, and longtime strategist John Weaver — were not invited to any of McCain’s services.”
“It’s not clear whether McCain ordered the snubbing of formerly high-ranking aides before his death.”
The HuffPost notes Sarah Palin was also not invited to the services.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) told CBS News that he found President Trump’s response to Sen. John McCain’s (R-AZ) death “disturbing,” with the president ignoring reporters’ questions about his passing in addition to the White House flag lapse.
Said Graham: “It pisses me off to no end, and I let the president know it.”