He said to John's family, including wife Cindy McCain and his seven children, "There's nothing anyone can say or do to ease the pain right now, but I pray that this gives you comfort: that you shared John with us your whole life, the world now aches for John's death".
He will be buried on Sunday at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, from which he graduated in 1958. Her dad goes after me, hammer and tong.
No speakers uttered Donald Trump's name, but Biden was not the only one to make what some saw as a veiled reference to the president. His flag-draped casket was escorted by military body bearers up the cathedral steps under gray skies. Among those in the front row at the cathedral were Michelle Obama, Laura Bush, Bill and Hillary Clinton, as well as Dick Cheney and Al Gore.
There, he will lie in state at the U.S. Capitol before his burial this weekend.
Former Vice President Joe Biden will speak at the service, expected to be attended by 24 current U.S. Senators and four former senators and many Arizona politicians. "Above all we understood the same thing: politics is personal, it's all about trust".
"So much of our politics, our public life, our public discourse can seem small and mean and petty, trafficking in bombast and insult, and phony controversies, and manufactured outrage", Obama said. "It's a politics that pretends to be courageous and tough but in fact is born in fear".
"But the truth is, John's code was ageless - is ageless", Biden said.
Inside, former military members in shorts and T-shirts saluted.
Similarly, McCain repeatedly championed comprehensive immigration reform, with amnesty for millions of immigrants in the country illegally, which won't pass any time soon.
Throughout the brief ceremony, McCain's widow Cindy, his children, grandchildren and his 106-year-old mother, Roberta, said stalwart facing his casket.
Meghan McCain, daughter of, Sen. Ted Kennedy, the MA liberal, who died of the same brain cancer nine years earlier and with whom he had worked on comprehensive immigration reform. McCain wrote in his book The Restless Wave that he wished he had picked Lieberman to be his vice presidential running mate in 2008.More news: Umpire appears to give Kyrgios pep talk at the U.S. Open
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"[Trump's] comments are never going to be OK with me, especially at this moment in my life". McCain was "a man of conviction, a man of state", Ryan said.
Trump, meanwhile, left the White House in the presidential motorcade shortly after 10:30 a.m., as the service was underway. John McCain, R-Ariz., is carried into the rotunda of the U.S. Capitol on Friday. Trump's daughter Ivanka Trump and son-in-law Jared Kushner are also in attendance. He refused early release.
Trump obtained deferments during the Vietnam War for his college education and for bone spurs in his heels. In closing, Senate Chaplain Barry Black called McCain "a drum major for courage, truth and justice". It was obvious that Senator McCain was highly regarded. "And this highlights the very rare and very special qualities of Senator McCain".
After the service, McCain's wife of 38 years, Cindy, bowed over the casket, clasped her hands and appeared to pray there.
"He had America's fighting spirit", McConnell said. Bush defeated McCain for the Republican nomination for president in 2000 in a bitter battle.
He did just that, slamming McCain as "profoundly out of touch" on the economy in a speech in MI in September 2008.
"But that admiration wasn't surprising, because Senator McCain was known as a man of integrity and conviction". He was a public servant in the finest traditions of our country. Senator McCain, we will miss the blessings of being in your presence.
Meghan McCain looked daggers at Vice President Pence as he spoke at her father's funeral Friday.
He and Biden served together in the U.S. Senate for more than 20 years and forged a friendship beyond party lines.
"Some of the biggest fights I'd ever had was one with Ted Kennedy", McCain joked on CBS's 60 Minuteslast year. He could disagree on substance, but it was the underlying values that animated everything John did, everything he was. The man didn't feign anything.