Mourners on both sides of the aisle gathered at the Washington National Cathedral on Saturday to honor Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainProgressives say go big and make life hard for GOP The Biden-Harris train wreck may have its savior: 2024 GOP nominee Donald Trump Kelly raises million in third quarter MORE (R-Ariz.)
While Republicans and Democrats — including two former presidents — eulogized the late Arizona senator, one political figure was notably missing: President TrumpDonald TrumpMcAuliffe takes tougher stance on Democrats in Washington Democrats troll Trump over Virginia governor's race Tom Glavine, Ric Flair, Doug Flutie to join Trump for Herschel Walker event MORE.
Prior to his death, McCain had made arrangements for Trump not to be invited to his memorial services. The president's daughter, Ivanka TrumpIvanka TrumpGrisham: Time in Trump administration 'will follow me forever' Grisham: Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump saw themselves as 'shadow president and first lady' Grisham says her 'enabling' cost lives during pandemic MORE, and her husband Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerHillicon Valley — Presented by LookingGlass — Hackers are making big money Kushner associate pardoned by Trump in plea discussions over cyberstalking charges Biden has an opportunity to put his own stamp on Arab-Israeli relations MORE, however, were in attendance following a reported invitation from Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamSenators preview bill to stop tech giants from prioritizing their own products Democrats fret as longshot candidates pull money, attention Tim Scott takes in .3 million in third quarter MORE (R-S.C.), one of McCain's closest friends.
McCain and the president had feuded since then-candidate Trump hit the campaign trail.
Shortly after announcing his candidacy, he denounced McCain's service in the Vietnam War, famously saying "He was a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren't captured." McCain was tortured as a prisoner of war in Vietnam for more than five years.
President Trump also repeatedly lashed out at McCain for breaking with his party to vote against the GOP's repeal of the Affordable Care Act.
Despite his absence from the Senate this year, McCain remained a visible figure in Washington, frequently clashing with Trump on a variety of issues, including his trade policy and rhetoric toward the media.
During McCain's funeral, Trump tweeted about trade and special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerSenate Democrats urge Garland not to fight court order to release Trump obstruction memo Why a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel MORE's probe into possible ties between his campaign and Russia.
Despite the president's physical absence from McCain's funeral, speakers were quick to take thinly veiled shots at Trump in their eulogies.
Meghan McCain, John McCain’s daughter, blatantly slammed the president’s rhetoric, taking aim at his campaign-era slogan "Make America Great Again." She also implicitly compared her father’s service during the Vietnam War and Trump’s multiple reported medical deferments from it.
“He was a great man. We gather to mourn the passing of American greatness, the real thing, not cheap rhetoric from men who will never come near the sacrifice, those that live lives of comfort and privilege while he suffered and served.”
She also slammed Trump’s campaign slogan, saying America was always great.
"The America of John McCain is generous and welcoming and bold. She's resourceful, confident, secure. She meets her responsibilities. She speaks quietly because she's strong. America does not boast because she has no need to. The America of John McCain has no need to be made great again because America was always great."
Former President ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaProgressives say go big and make life hard for GOP Biden giving stiff-arm to press interviews Jill Biden campaigns for McAuliffe in Virginia MORE defeated McCain in the 2008 presidential election, but said he always had a deep respect for his opponent.
Obama appeared to take a swipe at Trump’s immigration policies and seemed to reference the president's questioning of the authenticity of his birth certificate. Trump led the "birther" movement against Obama, falsely claiming for years that he was born outside of the U.S.
"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."
Obama also seemed to attack Trump’s rhetoric.
"Trafficking in bombastic manufactured outrage, it's politics that pretends to be brave and tough, but in fact is born of fear."
George W. Bush:
Former President George W. Bush, who defeated McCain in the Republican presidential primary in 2000, appeared to criticize the current political atmosphere.
"At various points throughout his long career, John confronted policies and practices he believed were unworthy of his country. John McCain would insist we are better than this. America is better than this."
Bush also seemed to take a jab at Trump’s immigration policy, saying that McCain's respect for "the dignity inherent in every life … does not stop at borders."
"He loved freedom with a passion of a man who knew its absence. He respected the dignity inherent in every life, a dignity that does not stop at borders and cannot be erased by dictators."
McCain often clashed with Trump over his policies toward the U.S.–Mexico border, particularly. In June, McCain called on the Trump administration to end its controversial "zero tolerance" policy of separating migrant families at the southern border, deeming it "an affront to the decency of the American people."
Former Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) was a close friend of McCain’s and a rumored vice presidential candidate in his 2008 bid.
In his speech, Lieberman took aim at the current political climate and appeared to take a swipe at Trump for his "personal-attack politics."
"His death seems to have reminded the American people that these values are what makes us a great nation, not the tribal partisanship and personal-attack politics that have recently characterized our life."