The first thing Stephen Colbert did when The View co-host Meghan McCain sat down for her interview with him Thursday night was express his condolences for the death of her father, Sen. John McCain. “I just want to say I’m sorry for your loss and for the loss of our nation. He was a great man.”
The Late Show host quoted a particularly “pointed” passage from her eulogy last September. “We gather to mourn the passing of American greatness, the real thing, not cheap rhetoric from men who will never come near the sacrifice he gave so willingly,” she said at her father’s funeral, clearly evoking President Trump.
“I did say that,” McCain told him. “And I mean it.” Because she had the “luxury and the curse” of knowing that her father didn’t have much time left, she said she wrote those words when he was still alive—and never imagined that Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner would be in attendance at the event.
President Trump not only insulted John McCain repeatedly during the last few years of his life, but just this past week he reportedly attacked him posthumously during an “off-the-record” meeting with network anchors, a move that Meghan McCain called “pathetic and telling.”
“A funeral is obviously a sacred time and I thought that my family had made it clear, or at least I had,” McCain said, “that the Trumps are unwelcome around me and that my father had been clear about the line between the McCains and the Trumps. So I was surprised when they were there, and it made me uncomfortable. And I hope I made them uncomfortable, honestly, with everything.”
Just days after the event, McCain’s View co-host Abby Huntsman revealed that Jared and Ivanka were not welcome, explaining, “if they had it their way—as was evident in the tone of the funeral—they probably would rather not have had anyone from the Trump family present.”
Noting that both men who beat John McCain at the polls and went on to become president—George W. Bush and Barack Obama—were invited to speak at his funeral, she added, “I really want it made very clear that, the Trumps had beef with me then and in the words of Cardi B, they’re going to have beef with me forever, and I’m not going to forget.”
“It’s sort of a strange element to my life now that they attended,” McCain said. “And I wish they had chosen not to out of respect, if nothing more for me, but it’s their call. And I think America can judge on its own what they thought of that and what they thought of my eulogy.”