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Orrin Hatch apologizes to John McCain for funeral comment: ‘I shouldn’t have said anything’

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Sept. 20, 2017. (Alex Brandon/AP)

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) has apologized to Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) for saying it was “ridiculous” for McCain to request that President Trump not attend his funeral, a remark that drew a swift rebuke from McCain’s daughter Meghan McCain.

“I agree with the daughter,” a remorseful Hatch told The Washington Post on Tuesday. “I shouldn’t have said anything yesterday. I agree a hundred percent with her.”

Hatch also sent a letter to McCain apologizing for his comment and for suggesting that McCain would not return to the Senate, according to a person familiar with its contents. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe a private exchange.

McCain is at home in Arizona battling a serious form of brain cancer.

McCain’s critiques of Trump have president’s supporters angry and firing back

“I’d like everybody to take a collective breath and chill out on my dad for a second — especially Orrin Hatch,” Meghan McCain said Tuesday, speaking on ABC’s “The View,” a program she co-hosts.

The New York Times reported over the weekend that McCain’s close associates have informed the White House that their plan for his funeral is for Vice President Pence to attend but not Trump. Trump and McCain have a troubled past. As a candidate, Trump had said that McCain, a decorated Vietnam War veteran, was not a war hero because he was captured by the North Vietnamese.

Hatch told reporters Monday that McCain’s funeral plan was “ridiculous,” according to multiple reports.

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and President Trump have been at odds with each other for a while. Here's a look at their war of words. (Video: Jenny Starrs/The Washington Post)