Speakers at the memorial service honoring Arizona Sen. John McCain on Saturday exhorted the Republican's fighting spirit against his adversaries, with featured guests taking veiled swipes at the current commander in chief, President Donald Trump.
With hundreds of attendees, friends, family and lawmakers from the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate joined with Trump administration officials and three former presidents. McCain was honored at the Washington National Cathedral, before his final resting place at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.
Some of the tributes, however, had hints of a parting shot at the president and current leader of the GOP. At times, Trump and his supporters have failed to show the Vietnam combat veteran the respect he was given by many of his colleagues — and even former adversaries.
It started with his daughter Meghan McCain who in an emotional and tearful speech, appeared to describe her father as a counterbalance to Trump. She argued that efforts by the president and others didn't equal the amount of sacrifice her father gave to his country.
"American greatness, the real thing, not cheap rhetoric from men who will never come near the sacrifice he gave so willingly," the younger McCain said in describing her father. She contrasted that with "the opportunistic appropriation of those who lived lives of comfort and privilege, while he suffered and served." She never mentioned the president's name during her tribute.
Trump and McCain had a stormy relationship dating back to the 2016 election cycle. As a candidate, Trump infamously questioned the veteran Republican Senator's military credentials during the 2016 election cycle, stoking outrage by suggesting McCain was not a hero because he was captured by the Vietnamese.
McCain survived more than 5 years of torture and imprisonment during the Vietnam War before going on to serve more than three decades in Congress, both as a member of the House and as a senator.
He was known for his ferocious opposition to policies that didn't match his principles and for taking on presidents, no matter their party.