Meghan McCain comes for Trump at her father’s funeral: ‘America was always great’

Meghan McCain addresses attendees at her father John McCain's funeral in Washington, D.C.
Meghan McCain addresses attendees at her father John McCain’s funeral in Washington, D.C.

Image: AFP/Getty Images

By Laura Vitto

At the funeral ceremony for her Sen. John McCain, his daughter Meghan indirectly skewered President Donald Trump, telling those in attendance: “The America of John McCain has no need to be made great again, because America was always great.”

McCain’s words were a clear reference to Trump’s infamous 2016 campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again,” and the subsequent rallying cry for his base. 

During her speech at Saturday’s ceremony held at the Washington National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., McCain made use of the word “great” multiple times, both in reference to her father and to “American greatness.”

She said, via footage from CNN:

“We gather here 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, nor the opportunistic appropriation of those who live lives of comfort and privilege while he suffered and served. He was a great fire who burned bright. … A few have resented that fire for the light it cast upon them — for the truth it revealed about their character, but my father never cared what they thought. And even that small number still have the opportunity, as long as they draw breath, to live up to the example of John McCain. My father was a great man, he was a great warrior, he was great American.”

“We gather here 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…”

Speaking through tears, Meghan McCain delivers an emotional tribute to her father https://t.co/w2FSihRCZo pic.twitter.com/cuP0apCve7

— CNN Breaking News (@cnnbrk) September 1, 2018

Though Trump was not in attendance at Saturday’s funeral — he wasn’t invited — his daughter Ivanka and her husband, White House aide Jared Kushner, were at the ceremony, per the Associated Press

The president and the late senator had a famously tense relationship, and the White House drew ire on Monday when it initially neglected to fly the flag at half-mast in honor of McCain’s passing on August 25. 

As footage of McCain’s speech made the rounds on Twitter, people praised the senator’s daughter for using her platform to criticize Trump:

Meghan McCain:

“We gather here 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.”

Are you listening @realDonaldTrump?

She is talking about you.

— Ryan Knight 🌊 (@ProudResister) September 1, 2018

“The America of John McCain has no need to be made great again because America was always great.” — Meghan McCain

And Ivanka had to sit there and take it as everyone around her applauded in a highly unusual moment for a eulogy at the National Cathedral.

— Charlotte Clymer🏳️‍🌈 (@cmclymer) September 1, 2018

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