In what might be his last word on a long-running feud with Donald Trump, Sen. John McCain doesn't want the president to attend his funeral, according to published reports Saturday.
Vice President Mike Pence would take the president’s place at the funeral, the New York Times reported.
NBC News reported that Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush— the two men who defeated McCain in his runs for president— would deliver eulogies at the service, planned for the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C.
The 81-year-old, six-term senator is battling a deadly form of brain cancer. McCain was diagnosed 10 months ago; the median survival rate is 14 months.
McCain is recovering at his home near Sedona after undergoing intestinal surgery two weeks ago for complications resulting from his brain cancer. He has not been seen in public since leaving Washington last December.
'May Be Gone Before You Hear This'
In an audio clip from his forthcoming memoir, “The Restless Wave,” McCain says his illness is “unpredictable.”
“I don't know how much longer I'll be here. Maybe I'll have another five years," McCain says in the audio book, his voice weakened by illness.
"Maybe I'll be gone before you hear this. My predicament is, well, rather unpredictable."
McCain writes in the memoir that he wants to be buried near his friend Charles Larson at the Naval Academy cemetery in Annapolis, Md.
McCain’s lifelong friendship with Larson began when both were at the Naval Academy in the 1950s. Larson graduated at top of their class; McCain was fifth from the bottom. Larson died of leukemia in 2014.
Plans for services in Arizona haven’t been disclosed.
McCain has been visited at his northern Arizona home in recent days by former Vice President Joe Biden, a friend for more than 40 years, and former Democratic Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, also a good friend.
The senator writes in “The Restless Wave,” scheduled for release May 22, that he wished he had chosen Lieberman, not Sarah Palin, as his 2008 running mate on the Republican presidential ticket.
12 News obtained an advance copy of the memoir.
'He's Not A War Hero'
The McCain-Trump feud goes back to the early days of Trump’s presidential campaign, in July 2015.
Trump dismissed McCain’s survival for five and a half years as a prisoner of war in North Vietnam.
“He’s not a war hero,” Trump said. “He was a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren't captured.”
During a rally in Phoenix last August, Trump blasted McCain for his “no” vote a month earlier that killed Republicans’ hopes for an Obamacare repeal.
McCain’s wife, Cindy McCain, and daughter Meghan McCain have stepped up to defend him from Trump’s attacks in recent months.
In his memoir, McCain writes of Trump:
“I’m not sure what to make of President Trump’s convictions... Flattery secures his friendship, criticism his enmity. He has showered with praise some of the world’s worst tyrants… It’s hard to know what to expect from President Trump, what’s a pose, what’s genuine.”