After a week of memorial services and tributes, late Arizona Sen. John McCain will be laid to rest during a private service in Annapolis on Sunday. There’s been a lot of speculation about who will and won’t attend memorial services in Washington, D.C. this weekend, and much of it has had to do with the first lady. Many people are wondering if Melania Trump will attend McCain’s funeral.
President Donald Trump publicly and frequently butted heads with McCain when the senator was alive. McCain died on Saturday following more than a year of treatment for brain cancer. After the death was announced, the first lady shared her brief condolences on Twitter.
“Our thoughts, prayers and deepest sympathy to the McCain Family,” Trump tweeted. “Thank you Senator McCain for your service to the nation.”
According to People, CNN broadcast that the first lady wouldn’t go to the funeral soon after The New York Times published a story saying that the president wouldn’t attend the services. After speculation about whether Melania would in fact attend the funeral, the first lady’s spokesperson told the magazine: “We have made no announcements, so any reports you are seeing did not come from our office.” Spokeswoman Stephanie Grishamdid not respond to Bustle's request for comment.
Melania has made solo appearances under similar circumstances. She went to Houston for former first lady Barbara Bush’s funeral in April without her husband. She went to Texas alone a second time for a surprise visit to the border after families were separated in the aftermath of the Trump administration’s zero-tolerance policy.
McCain’s family announced he would stop treatment for his brain cancer last Friday. “With his usual strength of will, he has now chosen to discontinue medical treatment,” his family said in a statement. He died a day later.
There has been plenty of speculation about the funeral and invites to it. Before his death, McCain asked former presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush to speak, People reported. In more dramatic funeral-related news, McCain’s 2008 running mate Sarah Palin did not make the funeral’s guest list.
When Trump initially addressed McCain’s death, he didn’t praise or state his respect for the senator, The Hill reported.
In a later statement from the White House, Trump said:
Despite our differences on policy and politics, I respect Senator John McCain’s service to our country and, in his honor, have signed a proclamation to fly the flag of the United States at half-staff until the day of his interment.
McCain’s long-time friend and fellow senator Republican Lindsey Graham of South Carolina censured Trump for his “disturbing” response to McCain’s passing.
“It bothers me greatly when the president says things about John McCain. It pisses me off to no end and I let the president know it,” Graham said in an interview with CBS This Morning.
“The way he’s handled the passing of John was disturbing. He finally got it right.”
President Donald Trump and McCain’s contentious relationship would mean an appearance from the first lady at the funeral would turn a lot of heads. If she plans to attend at all, she and her staff are remaining tight-lipped about it.