It’s Washington’s turn to say goodbye to the late Sen. John McCain. And McCain is saying farewell – his way.
The six-term Republican senator, who lived and worked in the nation’s capital over four decades, will lie in state under the U.S. Capitol rotunda Friday for a ceremony and public visitation. On Saturday, McCain’s procession pauses by the Vietnam Memorial and heads for Washington National Cathedral for a formal funeral service. At McCain’s request, two former presidents – Democrat Barack Obama and Republican George W. Bush – are expected to speak there.
People close to the White House and McCain’s family said President Donald Trump, who has mocked McCain for getting captured during the Vietnam War, has been asked to stay away from all events.
McCain’s funeral puts him back in the spotlight a few miles from Trump’s doorstep, in the city where the senator, who died last Saturday at 81, worked and collected friends and enemies – and some people were both at different times. The procession is expected to continue highlighting what McCain found important, some of which contrasts with Trump’s style and priorities.
Vice President Mike Pence will speak at the Capitol ceremony Friday, and other officials will represent the administration in Trump’s hard-to-miss absence. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis greeted the McCain family Thursday night when the late senator’s casket was flown into Joint Base Andrews, Maryland.
McCain chose a Russian dissident as a pallbearer after Trump professed repeatedly his affinity and admiration for Russia and its president, Vladimir Putin – praise that came amid special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.
SOURCE: The Associated Press