Today, Senator John McCain was laid to rest at a bipartisan, somber funeral at the Washington National Cathedral. McCain was known for making many friends across party lines, but he was decidedly not friendly with President Donald Trump. The late senator expressly did not invite Trump to his funeral. Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, however, made an appearance, in a move that has left some onlookers surprised.
The Los Angeles Times reported that McCain had personally overseen arrangements for his funeral prior to his death last week. These arrangements included eulogies by former presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush, whom he had requested as speakers. McCain also pointedly did not invite the current president, nor did he invite his 2008 running mate, Sarah Palin, and her family.
Senator Lindsay Graham confirmed that the couple was invited to the service, telling CNN's State of The Union, "nobody was at that funeral that did not get invited by the family,” and suggesting that McCain's family may have decided to extend the invitation because Ivanka Trump was particularly cordial and complimentary after the senator's passing.
Given that Trump was not invited, Kushner and Ivanka Trump were the most prominent members of the Trump administration in attendance.
The animus between McCain and Trump stems, in part, from a controversial statement that Trump made during in 2015. “He’s not a war hero,” Trump said about McCain, who was a Vietnam veteran and a prisoner of war.
Although Trump did not attend, his specter was still present at the funeral in the words of McCain’s daughter, as well as in mentions by former presidents Obama and Bush, who all made note of the sitting president without stating his name, as McCain undoubtedly would have preferred.
This story was originally published on September 1, 2018, additional reporting was added.