Pence: ‘John McCain served his country honorably’

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Pence: ‘John McCain served his country honorably’

Sen. John McCain was honored at a moving ceremony at the U.S. Capitol Friday morning, where top congressional leaders, as well as Vice President Mike Pence, spoke.

Pence attended Friday's ceremony on the behalf of President Donald Trump, who was not invited to any of McCain's services.

"The president asked me to be here, on behalf of a grateful nation, to pay a debt of honor and respect to a man who served his country throughout his life", Pence said at the memorial.

"I can assure you, America will always remember and honor the lifetime of service of United States Senator John McCain", Pence said.

Speaking to a national conference of the American Legion in Minneapolis, Pence said he wanted to address "a particular veteran that I know is on the hearts and minds of people all across America".

Over the years, Trump, who did not serve in the military, has demeaned McCain's status as a former prisoner of war, implied he gave up information to his captors and mocked injuries he sustained as a prisoner.

Pence, who has lengthy described himself as a "Christian, a conservative and a Republican - in that expose", also defended his religion in February after one among the co-hosts of the ABC daytime talk order The Check cracked that Pence is mentally in miserable health if he thinks Jesus is talking to him.

"In my years in Congress and as vice president, we didn't always agree either, and he nearly always noticed", Pence said, The New York Times reported.

He spoke of the time he traveled with McCain to Iraq to visit USA troops, when, after an 18-hour day, he found himself "literally falling asleep in the middle of a dinner with Iraqi officials". The two had a combative relationship, with Trump often publicly criticizing McCain and McCain frequently opposing Trump's policies.

Later, Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., joined McConnell, Ryan and Pence in laying wreathes next to McCain's casket.

McCain died of cancer Saturday.

Pence praised McCain's service during the Vietnam War, during which he was captured and tortured after refusing early release.

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