Senator John McCain has died at the age of 81, according to the New York Times. The Republican congressman and two-time presidential candidate passed at 4:28 p.m. at his Arizona home on Saturday. He had suffered from a malignant brain tumor, called a glioblastoma, for which he had been treated periodically with radiation and chemotherapy since its discovery in 2017.
McCain's family announced on Friday that the Senator had chosen to discontinue medical treatment for an aggressive form of brain cancer, a year after he announced his prognosis.
McCain, a harsh critic of President Trump who hand-delivered the controversial "Steele dossier" to FBI Director James Comey, returned to the Senate in July 2017 after emergency brain surgery to become the deciding vote that killed the GOP's repeal of the Affordable Care Act.
McCain specifically requested that President Trump not attend his funeral, instead insisting that Vice President Mike Pence attend the service in Washington's National Cathedral.
His intimates have informed the White House that their current plan for his funeral is for Vice President Mike Pence to attend the service to be held in Washington’s National Cathedral but not President Trump, with whom Mr. McCain has had a rocky relationship.
Meanwhile, McCain associates have been quietly spreading the word that they want a "McCain person" to eventually fill his Senate seat - "a roster that includes his wife, Cindy."
The matter of succession for the McCain seat — a topic of such intense discussion that Republicans officials here joke that Washington lawyers know Arizona election law better than any attorney in the state — is officially verboten among party officials and the senator’s friends. They are determined to reward him with the same good ending that his friend Senator Edward M. Kennedy enjoyed before he succumbed to brain cancer in 2009.
In May, Frank Bruni detailed in the NYT the Arizona Senator's battles with President Trump - who McCain has criticized for his "half-baked, spurious nationalism."
McCain lost the 2000 GOP nomination to George W. Bush and the 2008 US election to Barack Obama - admitting that he regretted picking Alaska Governor Sarah Palin over Joe Lieberman.
A lifelong war hawk, McCain strongly advocated for military action in several countries, including; Iraq, Syria, Kosovo, North Korea, Afghanistan and Iran. McCain supported the Al-Qaeda-aligned Free Syrian Army, calling for arming them with heavy weapons in order to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.