Trump expected to attend fundraiser on day McCain lies in state

Trump expected to attend fundraiser on day McCain lies in state

President Donald Trump leaves Capitol Hill after attending after a
President Donald Trump leaves Capitol Hill after attending after a "Friends of Ireland" lunch an celebrating Irish American politicians on the eve of St. Patrick's Day. With him are, from left, former House Speaker Paul Ryan, Irish Taoiseach Enda Kenny, Rep. Peter King (R-NY), and Vice President Mike Pence in March 2017. The president and First Lady Melania Trump visited Ireland on Wednesday. (Photo ©2018 Doug Christian/TMN)

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump is expected to attend a fundraiser in North Carolina on Friday, the same day that Sen. John McCain is scheduled to lie in state in the Capitol’s rotunda.

The White House has not listed the fundraiser on the president’s public schedule, but local media has reported that Trump will attend the event on behalf of Rep. Ted Budd and House candidate Mark Harris.

The fundraiser will reportedly take place at the Trump National Golf Club Charlotte in Mooresville.

In an unsigned email, the Harris campaign acknowledged the fundraiser and said that they are not aware of any changes.

The White House did not respond to questions on whether the president will attend the ceremony for McCain or travel to Charlotte for the fundraiser.

While McCain’s death on Saturday has been met with an outpouring of support from lawmakers and world leaders, Trump has been notably muted.

The president offered a short tweet Saturday night expressing condolences to the late senator’s family, but did not issue a formal statement.

The muted response has highlighted the chilly relationship between the two men in recent years.

Trump sparked controversy in 2015 when he said that McCain, who was a prisoner of war for over five years during the Vietnam War, was not a hero.

“He’s not a war hero,” Trump said during an event for evangelical voters in Ames, Iowa. “He was a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured.”

McCain had been a fierce critic of Trump.

In July, McCain lambasted the president for a joint press conference in Helsinki, Finland with Russian President Vladimir Putin in which Trump appeared to cast doubt on the U.S. intelligence community’s assertion that Russia had meddled in the 2016 presidential election.

“Today’s press conference in Helsinki was one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president in memory,” McCain said in a statement. “It is clear that the summit in Helsinki was a tragic mistaken.”

McCain had reportedly asked that Trump not attend his memorial services, which include one in Arizona on Thursday and another in Washington, D.C. on Saturday.

Trump’s schedule includes a rally Thursday in Evansville, Indiana stumping for Republican Senatorial candidate Mike Braun.

The Trump campaign did not respond to a request for comment on whether the rally will still take place, but the website still lists the event and has an open registration page for those wishing to attend.

Trump has repeatedly used his public appearances to take veiled swipes at McCain for voting against the repeal of Affordable Care Act last summer.

“One senator decided to put the thumb down, late in the morning,” Trump said during a groundbreaking ceremony for a Foxconn facility in Mount Pleasant, Wisconsin. “And that was not a good thing when he put that thumb down.”

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