Washington • Sen. Orrin Hatch said Monday that Sen. John McCain’s reported request for President Donald Trump not to attend his funeral is “ridiculous.”
McCain, an Arizona Republican who is battling life-threatening brain cancer, has told the White House that he wants Vice President Mike Pence to attend his funeral at Washington’s National Cathedral, but not Trump, according to a New York Times report citing McCain’s close friends.
“I think that’s ridiculous,” Hatch told reporters Monday, Politico reported.
“Well, he’s the president of the United States and he’s a very good man,” Hatch said. “But it’s up to [McCain]. I think John should have his own wishes fulfilled with regard to who attends the funeral.”
Hatch, who is the longest-serving Republican senator and is retiring early next year, said he wouldn’t have the same request.
“I would” like Trump at his funeral, Hatch said when asked.
Hatch also said Monday that he’s heard that McCain will not be able to return to the Senate, where he has served since 1987.
“I hope he does,” Hatch said, according to Politico. “I hope he can.”
Hatch spokesman Matt Whitlock later clarified that “Sen. Hatch spoke out of turn about Sen. McCain’s status. He’s been pleased to hear reports that Sen. McCain is in good spirits and hopes to see him back in Washington soon.”