'Ridiculous' That John McCain Not Inviting Trump to His Funeral, Senator Hatch Says

Retiring U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch described Senator John McCain's decision not to invite President Donald Trump to his funeral as "ridiculous," and encouraged McCain to reconsider.

The Utah Republican, now in the final months of his last term, made his comments after reports that people close to McCain told the White House that the ailing Arizona lawmaker wanted Vice President Mike Pence, not Trump, to attend his funeral.

"I think it's ridiculous," Hatch told Politico on Monday.

Hatch added that McCain, who is battling brain cancer, should have his wishes fulfilled.

"Well, he's the president of the United States and he's a very good man. But it's up to [McCain]," Hatch said. "I think John should have his own wishes fulfilled with regard to who attends the funeral."

Hatch also stated that he'd been "told" McCain was unlikely to return to the Senate, but a spokesperson later pulled back on that response and said Hatch had spoken "out of turn" when discussing McCain's work status.

The row between McCain and Trump reignited over the weekend after those close to McCain reportedly told the White House that they planned for Pence, not Trump, to be at a service at the National Cathedral in Washington, according to The New York Times.

Senate Judiciary Committee member Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) speaks with reporters outside a Judiciary Committee hearing April 19, 2018 in Washington, DC. In addition to judicial nominations, the committee was expected to discuss legislation protecting special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Getty Images/Win McNamee

Trump and McCain have publicly battled since the president the campaign trail and well into Trump's first 15 months in office. Trump chastised McCain for being captured and tortured during the Vietnam War.

"He was a war hero because he was captured," Trump said at a summit in Iowa in June 2015, the onset of his campaign. "I like people who weren't captured."

"He lost and let us down," Trump also said. "I've never liked him as much after that."

Trump also took umbrage with McCain's decision last year to vote against a repeal-and-replace measure of Obamacare.

Recently, Trump opted not to attend the funeral service for former first lady Barbara Bush due to security concerns. Current first lady Melania Trump attended instead, as did former presidents George H.W. and George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Bill Clinton.

Both George W. Bush and Obama reportedly plan to attend McCain's service, a source close to McCain told NBC News.