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Meghan McCain jab at Trump defended

September 2, 2018

Two longtime friends of the late Sen. John McCain defended Sunday his daughter’s eulogy criticizing President Trump, saying Meghan McCain shares her father’s fiery temperament.

“She is her father’s daughter,” Sen. Lindsey Graham, South Carolina Republican, told CNN’s “State of the Union.” “If you say something bad about her dad, you will know it, whether you’re the janitor of the president of the United States.”

Mr. Graham, Mr. McCain’s closest ally in the Senate, added, “She is grieving for the father she adored. I think most Americans understand that.”

Former presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush made veiled references to Mr. Trump, but Ms. McCain, co-host on ABC’s “The View,” didn’t mince words.

“The America of John McCain has no need to be made great again because America was always great,” she said to applause at the funeral service Saturday at the National Cathedral.

Former Sen. Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut, who served as both a Democrat and independent, called himself a “proud uncle” of Ms. McCain’s.

“She was direct, the way John was,” said Mr. Lieberman. “And sometimes, those around you are even more direct than you would be in a given situation.”

.@LindseyGrahamSC says on #CNNSOTU with @DanaBashCNN that @MeghanMcCain is ‘her father’s daughter’ after her emotional eulogyhttps://t.co/Mge8nNYLk8 State of the Union (@CNNSotu) September 2, 2018

Mr. Trump, who was not invited to the funeral, spent the day golfing, while his daughter Ivanka Trump and son-in-law Jared Kushner attended the service for the former Navy pilot and Vietnam prisoner of war.

Mr. Graham said their inclusion was deliberate. “Nobody who was at that funeral did not get invited by the family,” he said.

“Ivanka said some very nice things about Senator McCain after his passing,” he added. “It was not unnoticed by the family.”

Mr. Lieberman said the senator’s 33-year-old daughter “did it the way her dad would want her to do it.”

“So he’s gone. He’s died. She’s grieving,” said Mr. Lieberman. “And yet, by the nature of his life, she’s called on to make a very public, global statement, appearance. Very hard. But she did it, and she did it magnificently.”

In addition to the president, those reportedly left off the guest list included Mr. McCain’s 2008 presidential running mate, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, and several campaign aides.

Mr. McCain died Aug. 25 at 81 of brain cancer. He was buried Sunday at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, where he was a member of the Class of 1958.

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