State, local leaders express sympathy on passing of Sen. John McCain

S Sen. John Mc Cain through the years

Questioned whether he believed McCain - a former Navy pilot who was shot down over Vietnam - was a hero, Trump remained stone-faced behind the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office after announcing a trade breakthrough with Mexico.

This might stem largely from the fact that McCain requested that Donald Trump not be invited to his funeral, while both Barack Obama and George W. Bush will be delivering eulogies for the late senator.

But McCain, who died one day after his family said he would discontinue medical treatment for brain cancer, seized the microphone and defended his opponent.

The maverick politician, who was a proponent of USA power, was taken prisoner of war in Vietnam but after his release helped secure the repatriation of the remains of missing-in-action soldiers.

Pham Gia Minh, a 62-year-old businessman who signed the condolence book at the embassy, said he witnessed Vietnamese civilians being killed by the U.S bombings of North Vietnam, including on Christmas in Hanoi in 1972, but he admired McCain for overcoming the hard past to build better ties between the two countries. Sources close to McCain have said Trump would not be invited to the funeral. The Arizona Republican, whose relationship with President Trump has always been fraught, died on Saturday at the age of 81 after battling brain cancer.

"My deepest sympathies and respect go out to the family of Senator John McCain, "Trump tweeted on Saturday. Our hearts and prayers are with you!" - but did not offer any words about the man himself".

US President Donald Trump, who clashed bitterly with McCain and in recent weeks had refused to mention him by name, tweeted a brief statement on Saturday.

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First, the statement itself: CNN reports that White House aides had drafted a "fulsome statement" for Trump to release on the death of John McCain.

"Senator McCain was a great friend to Canada and a true statesman whose intelligence, tenacity and courage were unmatched", Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland wrote on Twitter.

Rick Davis, a spokesman for the McCain family, said that the focus should be on remembering McCain's life and legacy. "The vice president, all issued statements that would have been approved by the president before they went out".

Mr McCain's body will lie in state in the Arizona State Capitol on Wednesday and at the US Capitol Rotunda on Friday, giving his colleagues and the public a chance to pay their respects.

The two men had been at odds since Trump launched his presidential campaign in 2015, with McCain repeatedly attacking Trump and his policies. President Trump, however, was not invited to speak.

Vice-President Mike Pence will reportedly attend on behalf of the Trump administration.

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