Ivanka and Jared Didn't Crash McCain Funeral, Lindsey Graham Reiterates, as Controversy Bubbles Back Up

Graham said that "nobody showed up uninvited" to the late senator's funeral

Meghan McCain, Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner
Meghan McCain(left), Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner. Photo: Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic; Samir Hussein/WireImage

Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner's attendance at Sen. John McCain's 2018 Washington, D.C., funeral — and the matter of how, exactly, Donald Trump's advisers got invited while Trump did not — is again making headlines.

The controversy was revived in recent days as Meghan McCain has made the media rounds to coincide with the recent release of her audio memoir, Bad Republican, on Audible.

In the audiobook, the 36-year-old former View host says that Jared and Ivanka were "funeral crashers" at her dad's D.C. memorial, adding that she was unaware they had been invited to the event given that Donald Trump was explicitly not allowed.

"I saw Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner sitting toward the back. As far as I knew, they had not been invited by the family, but they showed up anyway ... It never even crossed my mind that they would come. Why would you go to something like that? It seemed audacious even for them," Meghan says in her memoir. "When I saw them, I thought, I hope that this is the most uncomfortable moment of your entire life."

But South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, a longtime McCain family friend, pushed back on this version, telling The Washington Post this week: "[Meghan] was upset they were there — I understand that, and she has hard feelings but I know what happened and nobody showed up uninvited."

This echoes what a McCain family friend told PEOPLE in 2019: "There were a lot of people involved in the planning of the funeral, and she [Meghan] does not know whose list they were on."

Graham told the Post this week that he sympathized with her, still. "I love Meghan McCain and I understand how stressful all this has been for her and those who attack her dad will never be forgiven by her," he said.

John McCain, Meghan McCain
From left: John and Meghan McCain. Heidi Gutman /Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty

Sen. McCain's widow, Cindy McCain, cleared Jared and Ivanka's attendance even as she didn't understand why they wanted to be there in the first place.

"John always taught me that it takes more energy to be mad than to simply move on," Cindy wrote in Stronger. "I don't know exactly why Ivanka and Jared wanted to be there. But I am hoping that they came for the reason I would think—that they mourned the loss of my husband."

Meghan, meanwhile, said recently that she still finds the memory of their attendance irritating.

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In an appearance on Bravo's Watch What Happens Live last week, Meghan said of Jared and Ivanka, "They should never have come, they had no business being there, I remember seeing them and seeing her specifically. They had no g------ business being there and it's something that still angers me, clearly."

The years of bad blood between the McCains and Trumps date back to former President Trump's attacks on the late senator, which have continued even after his death. Meghan has not been shy in responding to many of these comments.

Meghan McCain
Meghan McCain. Greg Endries/Bravo

Last week, President Trump issued a lengthy, 200-plus word statement again assailing both Meghan and her late father for a number of purported slights.

"Thanks for the publicity boomer," Meghan wrote on Twitter, adding a link to her new audio memoir.

Back in December, Meghan took to Twitter to describe Trump's continued attacks on her late father as an obsession.

"Two years after he died, you still obsess over my dad," she wrote. "It kills you that no one will ever love you or remember you like they loved and remember him."

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