If John McCain‘s family “had it their way,” Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner would not have been present at the late senator’s funeral on Saturday, The View‘s new cohost, Abby Huntsman, said on the Season 22 premiere Tuesday morning.
Huntsman, 32, said she spoke to McCain’s daughter Meghan, 33, about the matter and noted that the invite likely came from McCain’s best friend in the Senate, Lindsey Graham.
“Look, I’m sure [the McCains] had final approval of everything, if they had it their way — as was evident in the tone of the funeral — they probably would rather not have had anyone from the Trump family present,” said Huntsman, a longtime friend of Meghan McCain, who is taking time off from cohosting The View to be with family after her father died from brain cancer on Aug. 25 at 81.
“They still showed up,” Huntsman added, referring to Kushner and Ivanka Trump. “I gotta say, there were a number of moments that were awkward, I’m sure for them, sitting there.”
The first daughter’s appearance with her husband at Washington National Cathedral came as a surprise to many after much attention was paid to President Trump’s exclusion from a week’s worth of memorial services for the late senator. A McCain family source told PEOPLE that the family did not want Trump to attend after his years of insulting and mocking the Arizona Republican, Vietnam veteran and former prisoner of war.
Meghan took aim at the president in a tearful eulogy at the funeral, referencing his widely derided comments that her father wasn’t a war hero because he was captured.
“We live in an era where we knock down old American heroes for all their imperfections. When no leader wants to admit to fault or failure,” Meghan said.
She also made a pointed reference to Trump’s “Make America Great Again” campaign message, saying, “The America of John McCain has no need to be great again because America was always great.”
Sen. Graham has denied inviting Trump’s daughter and son-in-law, who both serve as his senior advisers, to the funeral.
In an interview on CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday, Graham said that “nobody was at that funeral that did not get invited by the family.”
“Earlier in the week, I met with Ivanka about a trip we’re planning in Africa,” Graham said, adding that “Ivanka said some very nice things about Sen. McCain after his passing. It was not unnoticed by the family.”
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Reacting to Huntsman’s comments on Tuesday, The View‘s Sunny Hostin criticized Ivanka and Kushner for “crashing” McCain’s funeral.
“Who crashes a funeral? You just don’t do that,” Hostin said. “I thought it was shameful that they were there. I really do.”
But her cohost Joy Behar thought it was good for the couple to be there and hear everything that was said. “Let them sit there, every single person who spoke had a subtext against Trump,” she said. “They had to listen to that, so good.”