Meghan McCain says her impassioned, tearful eulogy at her father's 2018 funeral was exactly what Sen. John McCain had in mind.
In a conversation airing Wednesday on the HISTORY Channel/C13Originals' podcast It Was Said, hosted by historian Jon Meacham, Meghan remembers discussing with her dad, who was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2017, what she would one day say in her eulogy for him.
"He knew to a degree what I was going to say and what I was going to do, but he told me to give 'em hell," Meghan, 35, says in an exclusive preview of the upcoming episode.
"I thought it was such a weird suggestion and request," Meghan says, "because you think of eulogies as being sad and stoic and — sort of beautiful and maudlin. And he really wanted fire."
Fire he got, when Meghan took the stage to memorialize her father, making a pointed reference to President Donald Trump, whom the McCains did not invite to attend the funeral services to keep it "calm and respectful."
“The America of John McCain is generous and welcoming and bold,” Meghan said in her eulogy. “She is resourceful and confident and secure …. The America of John McCain has no need to be great again, because America was always great."
Though Meghan recalls on It Was Said that she was initially confused by her father's advice about the eulogy, "in the days after he died and the process of it, I really understood what he meant."
"I was just horrifically in grief and so sad and really just barely functioning on a physical and emotional level right after he died," she says in the podcast preview.
That sadness sharpened to something else, she says, particularly when Sen. McCain's death began to be "politicized" by Trump, a rival who continued to disparage the lawmaker after he died.
Trump initially held off on issuing a proclamation for the late senator and ordering flags be flown at half-staff following his death, reportedly agreeing to do so only under pressure.
A bombshell report published by The Atlantic earlier this month brought the issue back to light when the magazine cited multiple anonymous sources who claimed that Trump was angered when flags were lowered and told his staff: "We're not going to support that loser's funeral."
(The White House adamantly denied this.)
Meghan cites the flag controversy in her appearance on It Was Said.
"I was very, very angry," she says, "because I felt like it was becoming politicized and then there were controversies with President Trump and the White House lowering the flag — and my grief turned to anger."
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