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The feud between John McCain and Donald Trump has continued even after the senator's death

McCain has take a shot at Trumpian policies in a farewell statement to US citizens.

THE LATE US Senator John McCain has urged Americans to “tear down walls” in a farewell statement that will doubtless be seen as a rebuke to US President Donald Trump. 

McCain died on Saturday following a celebrated career in US politics that saw him serve in the Senate, the House of Representatives and twice run for president. 

McCain endured an adversarial relationship with Trump and this has continued following the senator’s death over the weekend. 

White House officials have said McCain’s family had asked, before the senator’s death, that Trump not attend funeral services for the former Naval pilot. 

The US flag was flown at half-mast over at the White House yesterday, but earlier today it returned to full-mast, unlike at other sites in the capital where they remained at half-mast.

Later this afternoon however, it returned to half-mast after the White House was criticised for its decision. 

In the Oval Office earlier, Trump refused to answer questions from reporters about his thoughts on the death of McCain, staying silent as they sought a response. 

But later this evening, Trump released a statement speaking about his “respect” for McCain. 

Speaking today in McCain’s home state of Arizona, spokesperson Rick Davis would not confirm whether McCain’s family had asked Trump not to attend the funeral, but did confirm that “as far as we know” the president would be not be attending. 

Davis also read out a statement prepared by McCain before his death from brain cancer. 

This is the full text of that statement: 

My fellow Americans, whom I have gratefully served for sixty years, and especially my fellow Arizonans, thank you for the privilege of serving you and for the rewarding life that service in uniform and in public office has allowed me to lead. I have tried to serve our country honourably. I have made mistakes, but I hope my love for America will be weighed favorably against them.I have often observed that I am the luckiest person on earth. I feel that way even now as I prepare for the end of my life. I have loved my life, all of it. I have had experiences, adventures and friendships enough for ten satisfying lives, and I am so thankful. Like most people, I have regrets. But I would not trade a day of my life, in good or bad times, for the best day of anyone else’s.I owe that satisfaction to the love of my family. No man ever had a more loving wife or children he was prouder of than I am of mine. And I owe it to America. To be connected to America’s causes – liberty, equal justice, respect for the dignity of all people – brings happiness more sublime than life’s fleeting pleasures. Our identities and sense of worth are not circumscribed but enlarged by serving good causes bigger than ourselves.

‘Fellow Americans’ – that association has meant more to me than any other. I lived and died a proud American. We are citizens of the world’s greatest republic, a nation of ideals, not blood and soil. We are blessed and are a blessing to humanity when we uphold and advance those ideals at home and in the world. We have helped liberate more people from tyranny and poverty than ever before in history. We have acquired great wealth and power in the process.

We weaken our greatness when we confuse our patriotism with tribal rivalries that have sown resentment and hatred and violence in all the corners of the globe. We weaken it when we hide behind walls, rather than tear them down, when we doubt the power of our ideals, rather than trust them to be the great force for change they have always been.

We are three-hundred-and-twenty-five million opinionated, vociferous individuals. We argue and compete and sometimes even vilify each other in our raucous public debates. But we have always had so much more in common with each other than in disagreement. If only we remember that and give each other the benefit of the presumption that we all love our country we will get through these challenging times. We will come through them stronger than before. We always do.

Ten years ago, I had the privilege to concede defeat in the election for president. I want to end my farewell to you with the heartfelt faith in Americans that I felt so powerfully that evening.

I feel it powerfully still.

Do not despair of our present difficulties but believe always in the promise and greatness of America, because nothing is inevitable here. Americans never quit. We never surrender. We never hide from history. We make history.

Farewell, fellow Americans. God bless you, and God bless America.

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About the author:

Rónán Duffy

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