Meghan McCain Orders Fellow Republican Orrin Hatch to 'Chill Out'
Meghan McCain issued a plea for Americans "to take a collective breath and chill out" in the wake of the media frenzy surrounding funeral preparations for Senator John McCain (R-Arizona), who is battling an aggressive form of brain cancer — "especially" her father's Republican colleague Orrin Hatch — who openly criticized his reported desire for President Donald Trump to not be present at his funeral.
Doctors diagnosed John McCain, 81, with cancer in July of last year after it was determined that a brain tumor called a glioblastoma had caused a blood clot to appear near his left eye. Sources close to the Arizona senator revealed to the New York Times that he did not want the president to attend his service at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C.
The influential Republicans have had a contentious relationship ever since Trump's campaign for president. During the 2016 presidential primary, Trump mocked John McCain, who was imprisoned during the Vietnam War for almost six years when he was a member of the U.S. Navy. "He's not a war hero," Trump said of John McCain. "He's a war hero, because he was captured. I like people that weren't captured."
John McCain has reportedly requested that Vice President Mike Pence attend his funeral in Trump's place. Meanwhile, former presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush have been asked to eulogize him.
In response, Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) told CNN he thought that John McCain's wish was "ridiculous." "He's the president of the United States," Hatch added. "He's a very good man, but it's up to John."
Hatch also said that he would encourage John McCain "to change his mind, and ask the president to speak at his funeral," according to CNN.
Meghan McCain, who co-hosts "The View," returned to the ABC program Tuesday after spending the weekend in Arizona with her father. She shared that the senator is doing well. "He's just making jokes, talking, standing, doing a great recovery," she said. "He has a great team around him."
"I'd like everybody to take a collective breath and chill out on my dad for a second — especially Orrin Hatch," Meghan McCain added with some bite to her tone. "Take many seats right now."
"We're all doing good and hanging in," the eldest McCain daughter continued. "It's a process, as anyone knows if you know anyone who has cancer. So, please be kind and respectful of the fact that there's a family here."
Following Meghan McCain's remarks, Hatch apologized for his comments. "I agree with the daughter," the Republican Senatortold The Washington Post
on Tuesday. "I shouldn’t have said anything yesterday. I agree a hundred percent with her."
The Post reported:
"Hatch also sent a letter to McCain apologizing for his comment and for suggesting that McCain would not return to the Senate, according to a person familiar with its contents. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe a private exchange."
John McCain has had several visitors at his ranch in Arizona, where he is currently staying, among them former Vice President Joe Biden. "Here John knows he's in a very, very, very precarious situation. And yet he's still concerned about the state of the country,"Biden told
the New York Times. "We talked about how our international reputation is being damaged, and we talked about the need for people to stand up and speak out."
McCain has both a forthcoming memoir, "The Restless Wave: Good Times, Just Causes, Great Fights, and Other Appreciations" and an HBO documentary about his life coming out later this month. Inan excerpt
obtained by ABC News, McCain wrote of Trump, "He has declined to distinguish the actions of our government from the crimes of despotic ones. The appearance of toughness, or a reality show facsimile of toughness, seems to matter more than any of our values."