Report: Hatch calls McCain request that Trump not attend his funeral 'ridiculous'

Sen. Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchKey Republicans say Biden can break Washington gridlock Trump awards Medal of Freedom to racing industry icon Roger Penske Trump holds more Medal of Freedom ceremonies than predecessors but awards fewer medals MORE (R-Utah) said on Monday that it is “ridiculous” for Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainSchiff shows clip of McCain in Trump impeachment trial Martha McSally fundraises off 'liberal hack' remark to CNN reporter Meghan McCain blasts NY Times: 'Everyone already knows how much you despise' conservative women MORE (R-Ariz.) to request President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump says his advice to impeachment defense team is 'just be honest' Trump expands tariffs on steel and aluminum imports CNN's Axelrod says impeachment didn't come up until 80 minutes into focus group MORE not attend his funeral.

“I think it’s ridiculous,” Hatch said, adding that he hopes McCain reconsiders his request, Politico reporter Burgess Everett reported.

Hatch's comments would represent the first criticism from a GOP colleague of McCain's reported decision to not have Trump attend his funeral. 

ADVERTISEMENT
Hatch said it was up to McCain whether to invite Trump, but said if he were in McCain's position, he would invite the president.

"Well, he's the president of the United States and he's a very good man. But it's up to [McCain]. I think John should have his own wishes fulfilled with regard to who attends the funeral," he told Politico.

McCain is undergoing treatment for brain cancer and has not been in the Senate this year. The New York Times reported on Saturday that McCain does not want Trump at his funeral and requested Vice President Pence attend instead. 

Trump and McCain have repeatedly battled since the then-GOP presidential candidate in 2015 insulted the Arizona senator by saying he preferred war heroes who were not captured. McCain endured years as a prisoner of war in Vietnam.

Last year McCain foiled Republican efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, leading Trump to call out the senator at the Conservative Political Action Conference earlier this year.

In his recently finished memoir, "The Restless Wave: Good Times, Just Causes, Great Fights, and other Appreciations," McCain criticizes the president for caring more about "the appearance of toughness" than American values. 

Former Presidents George W. Bush and Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaFormer NYT correspondent rips Democrats' 'selective use' of constitutional violations Obama portraits leaving National Portrait Gallery to tour museums across the country Tulsi Gabbard explains decision to sue Hillary Clinton: 'They can do it to anybody' MORE are expected to deliver eulogies at McCain’s funeral, according to NBC News.