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Donald Trump told to stay away during John McCain tributes

Barack Obama and George W Bush will speak at Mr McCain’s final Washington event.

Service: Barack Obama will attend.
Service: Barack Obama will attend.

President Donald Trump will not play any part in John McCain's farewell to the United States.

At his request, former presidents Barack Obama, a Democrat, and George W Bush, a Republican, are speaking about the six-term senator at his final Washington event at the majestic Washington National Cathedral.

But Mr Trump was told to stay away from all events during Mr McCain's five-day, cross-country funeral procession.

Tributes: Members of the public walk past the flag-draped coffin of John McCain.
Tributes: Members of the public walk past the flag-draped coffin of John McCain. AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

Before the service, Mr McCain's procession will pass the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, where his wife, Cindy, is expected to lay a wreath. Mr McCain was a prisoner of war in Vietnam.

The Arizona senator is to be buried on Sunday in a private ceremony at his alma mater, the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. He died of brain cancer on August 25 at the age of 81.

Mr McCain's coffin arrived at the capital on Friday morning as his family watched from the steps of the White House. It then took centre stage as invited guests gathered in the vast Rotunda to remember him.

Warning: Donald Trump was told to stay away from all events.
Warning: Donald Trump was told to stay away from all events. AP

"It is only right that today, near the end of his long journey, John lies here, in this great hall, under the mighty dome, like other American heroes before him," said Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell.

House speaker Paul Ryan called Mr McCain "one of the bravest souls our nation has produced".

Mr McCain, a former Navy aviator, really did "talk like a sailor", Mr Ryan said, drawing smiles from the crowd.

"But you see, with John, it wasn't feigned disagreement. The man didn't feign anything. He just relished the fight."

End: John McCain's presidential running mate Sarah Palin is not expected to take part in the ceremony.
End: John McCain's presidential running mate Sarah Palin is not expected to take part in the ceremony. AP

Vice-president Mike Pence said he did not always agree with Mr McCain, but the late senator's support for limited government, tax reform and the military "surely left our nation more prosperous and more secure".

Mr McCain "served his country honourably," Mr Pence said, adding that Mr Trump "respected his service to the country".

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