Utah senator Orrin Hatch apologized to John McCain on Tuesday after suggesting on Monday that the ailing senator should invite President Trump to his funeral, even though McCain has made it clear that he doesn’t want Trump there.
Hatch said on Monday that McCain’s wish for a Trump-free ceremony was “ridiculous,” drawing the ire of Meghan McCain.
“I’d like everybody to take a collective breath and chill out on my dad for a second — especially Orrin Hatch,” McCain said on The View, which she co-hosts.
Hatch then had a change of heart.
“I agree with the daughter,” Hatch told the Washington Post on Tuesday, in a strange turn of phrase. “I shouldn’t have said anything yesterday. I agree a hundred percent with her.” The Post reported that Hatch had also sent McCain a letter expressing his regrets.
The New York Times had reported over the weekend that the ailing McCain has specifically said that he does not want Trump to come to his funeral, preferring Vice-President Pence to attend instead. This makes complete sense, considering that Trump has ridiculed McCain both for his service in Vietnam (“I prefer war heroes who weren’t captured”) and his legislative record, with McCain returning fire.
But that reasoning might not be so clear for superfans of the president. The 84-year-old Hatch, who is retiring after his term expires next year, has been one of Trump’s most fervent cheerleaders in the Senate. He has called Trump “one of the best” presidents he’s ever seen.