‘No Business Being There’: Meghan McCain Revisits Rage at Ivanka, Jared for Attending Dad’s Funeral
19:01 GMT 21.10.2021 (Updated: 19:10 GMT 21.10.2021)
© AP Photo / Invision / Evan AgostiniIn this May 3, 2014 file photo, Meghan McCain, and Sen. John McCain attend the White House Correspondents' Association Dinner in Washington
© AP Photo / Invision / Evan Agostini
The McCain and Trump families have a notoriously poor relationship, with the feud dating back to the Arizona senator’s first run for the presidency in 1999, when Donald Trump, then just a billionaire real estate mogul, told reporters that he wasn’t sure if being captured made John McCain a war hero.
Meghan McCain has lashed out against Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner over their decision to attend her father’s 2018 funeral, telling talk show host Andy Cohen that the couple “had no business being there” after John McCain explicitly told his inner circle before to his death that he didn’t want Trumps at the event.
“They should never have come…I remember seeing them and seeing her specifically. They had no goddamn business being there and it’s something that still angers me, clearly,” McCain said, speaking to Cohen on the Bravo network while out promoting her memoir ‘Bad Republican’. In it, McCain referred to Ivanka and Jared as “funeral crashers.”
McCain admitted that she still wasn’t certain what drove the president’s daughter and son-in-law to attend, but said one of her dad’s advisors told her that “it was just an event that they wanted to go to because his funeral at the National Cathedral [in Washington] ended up being this enormous moment.”
“I was told Lindsey Graham invited him. I’ve been told many different things from many different people,” McCain said, referring to the South Carolina senator and former never-Trumper friend and ally to John McCain.
While the Arizona senator was still alive, Trump often attacked McCain and Graham as “sadly weak” hawks and "losers" who should focus their attention on issues like the fight against terrorism and border security “instead of always looking to start World War III”.
Two Plus Decade-long Feud
The feud between John McCain and Donald Trump dates back more than twenty years, and began in 1999 after Trump, who was considering a run for president from the Reform Party at the time, attacked McCain for being captured after the fighter-bomber he was piloting was shot down over Vietnam. “Does being captured make you a hero? I don’t know. I’m not sure,” Trump said at the time.
The real estate mogul would repeat the comments in 2015, after being criticized by McCain during his own run for president, with the senator claimed that “crazies” in the Republican Party were fueling his successful run.
“He’s a war hero because he was captured. I like people that weren’t captured,” Trump said in a widely publicized discussion in Iowa. Some political prognosticators suggested at the time that Trump’s attack on a GOP grandee like McCain at the time threatened to derail his campaign, but Trump went on to win the 2016 primary, and the November election.
The feud between the men continued to escalate as McCain skipped the July 2016 Republican National Convention. At several points during the 2016 race, Trump sought to quell the feud, telling reporters that he “likes” McCain and does consider him a “hero” and endorsing him in 2016 in his run for the Senate seat. The attempt at reconciliation came to an end after McCain withdrew his support for the Republican nominee in October 2016 after audio from 2005 emerged in which Trump bragged to an Access Hollywood reporter about kissing women and grabbing them by their private parts.
After McCain’s cancer diagnosis was made public in July 2017, Trump expressed hope that the senator “gets better very soon because we miss him.” A week later, McCain blocked a Trump-led effort to repeal Obamacare. Later that same year, McCain attacked Trump over his service record and claims that a “bone spur” was responsible for his deferment from the Vietnam War.
McCain passed away on 25 August 2018. His funeral took place on 1 September, and as per the senator’s wishes, Trump did not attend.
After the senator’s death, his daughter Meghan took up her father’s cause, attacking Trump as a person who “spends his weekend obsessing over great men because…he will never be a great man,” and suggesting that “no one will ever love [Trump] the way they loved [her] father.”
The president continued to attack McCain even after his death amid revelations that the senator attempted to sabotage his campaign in 2016. Trump later also complained that the McCain family never thanked him for giving the senator “the kind of funeral that he wanted,” and called him the “most overrated person in Washington, DC.”
17 March 2019, 18:39 GMT
In 2019, Meghan McCain told late night talk show host Stephen Colbert that “in the words of Cardi B, [the Trumps are] going to have beef with me forever, and I’m not going to forget.”