John McCain is getting a presidential farewell, but not from the actual sitting president.
At McCain’s request, former Presidents Barack Obama, a Democrat, and George W. Bush, a Republican, are speaking about the six-term senator on Saturday at Washington National Cathedral. It is the last event in Washington, where McCain lived and worked over four decades, and part of McCain’s five-day, cross-country funeral procession. He died Aug. 25 at age 81.
President Donald Trump was told to stay away, but he won’t be far. The president is expected to remain in Washington this weekend.
McCain’s procession will come within a mile of the White House as it travels between the U.S. Capitol, where the casket was lying in state overnight, to the cathedral. It will pass the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, where McCain’s wife, Cindy, is expected to lay a wreath. McCain is a decorated veteran who was held for more than five years as a prisoner of war in Vietnam. He refused early release.
Trump obtained deferments for his college education and a foot ailment.
The memorial stop will provide another contrast with Trump in McCain’s carefully designed funeral procession. But the speeches by the former presidents are expected to carry special weight.