As Republicans and Democrats prepared for Sen. John McCain’s funeral service at Washington National Cathedral Saturday morning, Donald Trump sequestered himself in the White House, tweeting lines from a recent Fox & Friends episode, quoting one of his favorite commentators, Dan Bongino.
“‘You have a Fake Dossier, gathered by Steele, paid by the Clinton team to get information on Trump,’” the president posted, quoting from Bongino’s Fox hit. “‘The Dossier is Fake, nothing in it has been verified. It then filters into our American court system in order to spy on Barrack Obama and Hillary Clinton’s political opponent…Trump, and now we find out that there wasn’t even a hearing—that Donald Trump’s 4th Amendment right to privacy was signed away...and someone in there is swearing that this stuff is true, when it wasn’t? This is the scandal here—a police state.’”
There were other posts from President Trump on Saturday morning. He vented about how there is “no political necessity to keep Canada in the new NAFTA deal.” He quoted lawyer Alan Dershowitz’s media criticism. He referenced Judicial Watch’s Tom Fitton and blasted the supposed anti-Trump “corruption” enabled by the “leadership” at the Deep State rogues’ gallery of the FBI and Department of Justice.
Shortly after the flurry of Twitter missives, the president settled into his private golf club in Virginia, just as the speeches at McCain’s DC funeral were already underway. It was a funeral that the McCain family had all but banned the sitting president from attending.
And yet Trump’s presence still loomed at Washington National Cathedral, where at least two of the eulogies appeared to take digs at Trumpism, if not at Trump himself.
McCain was a critic of Trump and his behavior, and the 45th president of the United States hated the late senator enough that even after news of his death broke, Trump did what he could not to perfunctorily honor McCain.
The death of her father, Meghan McCain said at the ceremony, represented the loss of “American greatness, the real thing, not cheap rhetoric from men who will never come near the sacrifice he gave so willingly, nor the opportunistic appropriation of those who lived lives of comfort and privilege while he suffered and served.”
“The America of John McCain has no need to be made great again because America was always great,” she said, to a burst of applause, in what appeared to be a clear dig at Trump’s campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again.”
For his part, Trump’s predecessor and the man who beat McCain in the 2008 presidential election, Barack Obama, used part of his eulogy to denounce a style of American politics of which he certainly views Trumpism a part. Obama knocked those who engage in “bombast and insult and phony controversies and manufactured outrage,” and described “a politics that pretends to be brave and tough but in fact is born of fear.”
There were other swipes that appeared to be thinly veiled comments on Trump and the news of the day, some of which came from the heart of Trumpworld.
“.@realDonaldTrump ran for @POTUS ONE time and WON! Some people will never recover from that. #SorryNotSorry Yes, #MAGA,” Katrina Pierson, a senior adviser on the Trump re-election campaign, tweeted on Saturday morning, affixing an American flag emoji to the end of her post.
As of the early afternoon, Trump himself had yet to publicly weigh in on the service or the late GOP senator this weekend. For his aides, that is probably for the best. Earlier this week, a senior West Wing official told The Daily Beast that as long as Trump didn’t hate-tweet McCain or any of the funeral speakers directly on Saturday, they’d be satisfied.