Dave Chappelle was among the thousands of people visiting the Capitol to pay their final respects to John McCain on Friday.
Footage shows the comedian touring the rotunda before visiting McCain’s American flag-draped casket.
McCain, the Arizona senator who died Saturday at 81, was remembered as a man who inspired other leaders even as he vexed them with a rebellious streak and impish humor. Absent from the event was Donald Trump, invited to stay away by the family of the senator, who had deep disagreements with the president.
A light rain fell as McCain’s casket was carried into the Capitol by members of America’s military services on Friday – watched over by his family members who were stood on the steps.
Dave Chappelle was among the thousands of people visiting the Capitol to pay their final respects to John McCain on Friday
Members of the public walk past the flag-draped casket bearing the remains of John McCain of Arizona, who lived and worked in Congress over four decades, in the U.S. Capitol rotunda
Earlier, Vice President Mike Pence, lawmakers and guests paid tribute at an emotional ceremony surrounding McCain’s casket in the vast rotunda.
‘It is only right that today, near the end of his long journey, John lies here, in this great hall, under this mighty dome, like other American heroes before him,’ said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. ‘We thank God for giving this country John McCain.’
House Speaker Paul Ryan called McCain ‘one of the bravest souls our nation has produced.’
Footage shows the comedian touring the rotunda before visiting McCain’s American flag-draped casket
During his visit to the Capitol to say his final goodbye to the senator, Chappelle donned sunglasses and a bomber jacket to make a low key appearance at the rotunda where McCain lies in state
McCain, a former Navy aviator, really did ‘talk like a sailor,’ 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.’
Pence said he didn’t always agree with McCain, but said McCain’s support for limited government, tax reform and the military ‘surely left our nation more prosperous and more secure.’
McCain ‘served his country honorably,’ Pence said, adding that President Donald Trump ‘respected his service to the country.’
Trump, who has mocked McCain for being captured during the Vietnam War, was asked to stay away from the Capitol service, people close to the White House and the McCain family said.
Cindy McCain, wife of Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., leans over his flag-draped casket in the U.S. Capitol rotunda during a farewell ceremony, Friday
Roberta McCain, the 106-year-old mother of Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., pays her respects to the flag-draped casket bearing the remains of her son, Friday. President Trump was not invited
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., center, and his wife, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, pass by the flag-draped casket of Sen. John McCain
Chappelle, who was brought up in Washington DC by politically active parents, hasn’t released a public statement about McCain’s death.
Both have been critical of President Trump in the past, with Chappelle joking in a comedy special last year that he ‘feels sorry’ for ‘poor whites’ who had been duped into voting for Trump, because he knew the president didn’t have their interests at heart.
‘You are poor. He’s fighting for me,’ Chappelle said, referring to his wealth.
During his visit to the Capitol to say his final goodbye to the senator, Chappelle donned sunglasses and a bomber jacket to make a low key appearance at the rotunda where McCain lies in state.
The body was moved to the Capitol following the emotional funeral today.
After the service, McCain’s wife of 38 years, Cindy, bowed over the casket, clasped her hands and appeared to pray there. Later, she sat at her husband’s desk with Sen. Lindsey Graham at her side in the semi-darkened Senate. Graham plucked two roses from the vase on the late senator’s desk and gave them to her, according to two people close to McCain with knowledge of the private moment.
The flag-draped casket of Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., is carried up the steps of the U.S. Capitol, Friday
The flag-draped casket of Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., lies in state at the U.S. Capitol, Friday, August 31, 2018 in Washington. Seated third from left is Cindy McCain and Vice President Mike Pence to her right
The flag-drapped casket lies in state in the Rotunda of the US Capitol in Washington, DC, USA, 31 August
The ceremony was the first of two days of services in Washington honoring the Arizona senator, who served in Congress for 35 years.
On Saturday, McCain’s procession will pause by the Vietnam Memorial and head for Washington National Cathedral for a formal funeral service. At McCain’s request, two former presidents – Democrat Barack Obama and Republican George W. Bush – will speak.
McCain’s funeral puts him back in the spotlight a few miles from Trump’s doorstep, in the city where the senator, who died last Saturday days short of his 82nd birthday, worked and collected friends and enemies – some in both camps at different times. The procession was highlighting what McCain found important, some of which contrast with Trump’s style and priorities.
Other officials represented the administration in Trump’s hard-to-miss absence. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, U.N. Ambassador John Bolton, Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein were among those in attendance, along with members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, former Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman and actor Warren Beatty were among those pausing at McCain’s casket.
McCain chose a Russian dissident as a pallbearer, though Trump has professed repeatedly his affinity and admiration for Russian President, Vladimir Putin – praise that came amid special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.
Cindy McCain, right, wife of Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., gets a hug from former Vice President Joe Biden, left, after a memorial service for McCain at North Phoenix Baptist Church Thursday
The procession’s pause at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, where McCain’s widow, Cindy, is expected to lay a wreath, will highlight McCain’s military service and his more than five years as a prisoner of war.
Trump obtained deferments during the Vietnam War for his college education and then for bone spurs in his heels. Trump on Friday was expected to leave Washington in early afternoon, to head to North Carolina for an event on retirement security about the same time the public will start filing past McCain’s casket.
The McCain farewell began Wednesday and Thursday in Arizona, where he and Cindy McCain raised their family. Former Vice President Joe Biden and others provided a preview of the tributes to come.
None of the speakers at the North Phoenix Baptist Church on Thursday uttered Trump’s name. But Biden, who is considering challenging Trump in 2020, made what some saw as a veiled reference to the president. He talked about McCain’s character and how he parted company with those who ‘lacked the basic values of decency and respect, knowing this project is bigger than yourself.’
Biden said McCain ‘could not stand the abuse of power wherever he saw it, in whatever form, in whatever country.’
Biden advised McCain’s friends and family to remember snapshots of him, such as a glance or a touch. ‘Or when you saw the pure joy the moment he was about to take the stage on the Senate floor and start a fight. God, he loved it.’
At the end of the nearly 90-minute ceremony, McCain’s casket was wheeled out of the church to ‘My Way,’ in tribute to a politician known for following his own path.
Trump and his wife, Melania, danced to the same song at the new president’s inauguration in 2017.