Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch called John McCain’s decision not to invite President Trump to his funeral “ridiculous” and urged the cancer-stricken senator to change his mind.
Hatch blasted McCain’s plans to invite Vice President Mike Pence instead of Trump, telling CNN, “I think that’s ridiculous. He’s the President of the United States. He’s a very good man.”
McCain, who was diagnosed with brain cancer last year, has had a checkered history with the President, who famously said, “He is not a war hero. He’s a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured.”
Hatch said, “[Trump] would be a very interesting speaker and would do a good job for John.”
And while Hatch said he would encourage the Arizona senator to reconsider, he acknowledged the decision is ultimately up to McCain.
“I think John should have his wishes fulfilled with regard to who attends his funeral,” Hatch said.
In recent weeks, friends and family have visited McCain, 81, at his ranch in Arizona, where he continues to undergo cancer treatment following surgery for an intestinal infection last month.
McCain “knows he’s in a very, very, very precarious situation,” said former Vice President Joe Biden, who spoke to the NY Times after visiting his longtime friend at the end of April.
McCain did not return to Washington in December as he had initially anticipated, and his health has potential repercussions for the GOP’s control in the Senate.
If McCain dies or resigns before the end of May, a special election for his seat may pose another opportunity for Democrat to turn the red state blue.
If he remains in office into June, the election will probably be held off until 2020.
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