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Salmon, who is now the vice president of government affairs at ASU, said McCain left a bipartisan legacy and established a tradition of putting country over party.

McCain had been planning his funeral services over the a year ago and his family made clear that Trump is not invited, a position that has not changed, two family friends said Saturday.

The son and grandson of U.S. Navy admirals, McCain endured nearly six years of torture and captivity in a North Vietnam prison after his plane was shot down in 1967 on a mission during the long U.S. war.

It was Trump's first public comment about McCain since the Arizona senator's death Saturday from brain cancer.

Meanwhile, US President Donald Trump tweeted, "My deepest sympathies and respect go out to the family of Senator John McCain".

McCain, who represented Arizona in the Senate and House of Representatives for 35 years, had a reputation for speaking his mind, which led to a running feud with President Donald Trump. In a dramatic turn, he later cast the deciding vote against the Republican health care bill, earning Trump's enduring wrath.

McCain ran unsuccessfully for the Republican presidential nomination in 2000, then won it in 2008 before losing the general election to Obama.

"With regards to the West Philippine Sea and China issue, McCain expressed that the freedom of navigation is the best way to avoid confrontation with China", the DFA said in a statement released on the day of McCain's visit.

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., applauds during the break in the seventh inning of a baseball game between the Washington Nationals and Arizona Diamondbacks in Washington, Wednesday, May 3, 2017.

Obama said the two political opponents "saw our political battles, even, as a privilege, something noble, an opportunity to serve as stewards of those high ideals at home, and to advance them around the world".

Marc Short, Trump's former legislative director, said the president faced "a little bit of a situation of a Catch 22" when deciding how to respond to McCain's death.

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey, a Republican, was expected to appoint a member of his own party to succeed McCain. After his plane was shot down, he spent over five years as a prisoner of war. He went on to win a seat in the House and in 1986, the Senate, where he served for the rest of his life.

"We are so fortunate to call him our friend and colleague", Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on Twitter. He also had a wicked sense of humor and it made every tense moment come out better. Other potential contenders include Ducey chief of staff Kirk Adams, former ambassador to Finland Barbara Barrett, and former Sen. "God bless and thank you all". "God bless John McCain". "Americans will be forever grateful for his heroic military service & his steadfast integrity".

Wife of Senator John McCain, Cindy Mccain in a post on Twitter wrote, "My heart is broken". "I loved the man". "I've lived very well and I've been deprived of all comforts".