WASHINGTON – US senator and former presidential candidate John McCain (81) has lost a battle to brain cancer, CNN has reported.
“Senator John Sidney McCain III died at 4:28 pm on August 25, 2018. With the senator when he passed on were his wife Cindy and their family,” his office said in a statement seen by The Telegraph.
“At his death, he had served the United States of America faithfully for 60 years.”
In July 2017, McCain was diagnosed with glioblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer.
One year of treatment failed to prevent his condition from worsening and on August 24 his family announced that he had chosen to discontinue medical care.
“My heart is broken. I am so lucky to have lived the adventure of loving this incredible man for 38 years,” Cindy McCain, a daughter of the deceased wrote on Twitter.
“He passed the way he lived, on his own terms, surrounded by the people he loved, in the place he loved best.”
After a long-standing rivalry and numerous public clashes between the pair, following the announcement of his death Donald Trump offered his “deepest sympathies and respect” to McCain’s family on Twitter.
Former President Barack Obama also issued a statement paying tribute to the 2008 Republican nominee.
He wrote: “Few of us have been tested the way John [McCain) once was or required to show the kind of courage that he did. But all of us can aspire to the courage to put the greater good above our own.
The vacancy created by McCain’s death narrowed the Republican majority in the U.S. Senate to 50 seats in the 100-member upper chamber, with Democrats controlling 49 seats. But Republican Arizona Governor Doug Ducey is expected to appoint a member of his own party to succeed McCain.
That could also give Republicans a slight edge in the battle to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court in the weeks ahead, as McCain had been too ill to cast any votes this year.
Alternatively affable and cantankerous, McCain had been in the public eye since the 1960s, when as a naval aviator he was shot down during the Vietnam War and tortured by his North Vietnamese communist captors during 5-1/2 years as a prisoner.
He was edged out by George W. Bush for the Republican presidential nomination in 2000 but became his party’s White House candidate eight years later.
After gambling on political neophyte Sarah Palin as his vice presidential running mate, McCain lost in 2008 to Democrat Barack Obama, who became the first black US president.
McCain, the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, was a frequent critic as well as a target of his fellow Republican, Trump, who was elected president in November 2016.
McCain denounced Trump for among other things his praise of Russian President Vladimir Putin and other leaders the senator described as foreign “tyrants.”
“Flattery secures his friendship, criticism his enmity,” McCain said of Trump in his memoir, “The Restless Wave,” which was released in May.
According to Washington Post, McCain in July had castigated Trump for his summit with Putin, issuing a statement that called their joint news conference in Helsinki “one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president in memory.”
Washington reported that He said Trump was “not only unable but unwilling to stand up to Putin.”
However, the Telegraph revealed that sources close to McCain have said Trump would not be invited to the funeral.
McCain, a foreign policy hawk with a traditional Republican view of world affairs, was admired in both parties for championing civility and compromise during an era of acrid partisanship in US politics. But he also had a famous temper and rarely shied away from a fight. He had several with Trump.
He was the central figure in one of the most dramatic moments in Congress of Trump’s presidency when he returned to Washington shortly after his brain cancer diagnosis for a middle-of-the-night Senate vote in July 2017.